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First lung cancer screening center opens in Baton Rouge

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 12:00am

Baton Rouge residents have a new resource in the fight against cancer, starting today. Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center has launched the first site in the region to offer lung cancer screenings.

“Our Lung Cancer Screening Clinic services provide a quick turnaround for the patient whether that means letting them know they are free and clear of cancer or that a follow-up is needed,” said Linda Lee, Cancer Center administrator. “The best part is that patients can get this innovative cancer screening close to home, which makes the whole experience easier.”

The Cancer Center recommends the screenings for high risk individuals who are 50 and older, longtime smokers, exposed to occupational hazards, or have a family history.

“Early detection of cancer has always been the key to successful diagnosis and potential curative treatment,” Dr. Brad Vincent, an interventional pulmonologist and member of the Cancer Center’s Lung MDC Team, said.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in Louisiana, but the disease is 80 to 90 percent curable when caught early, according to the “New England Journal of Medicine.” The Lung MDC Team includes specialists from each diagnostic, treatment and supportive care discipline including surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology, pulmonology, clinical research and patient navigation.

High risk individuals include smokers and former smokers 55-74 years old with a history of 30 or more pack years (number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked) and directs these patients to lung cancer screening. Additionally, people who are age 50 or older with a smoking history of 20 or more pack years and one additional risk factor (not including secondhand smoke) radon exposure, occupational exposure (carcinogens, asbestos), cancer history, family history of lung cancer or disease history (COPD or Pulmonary Fibrosis) – should also be screened for lung cancer.

The cost of the lung cancer screening is offered at a discounted rate of $200 for those at high risk. A physician referral is not required, but patients should speak with their primary care physician about whether this screening will be beneficial for them. Most insurance does not cover this cost, so the patient will be fully responsible for the fee. For more information or to make a screening appointment, please call (225) 215-1515. 

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