A promotion that Centegra Health System developed in recognition of November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month has helped identify 18 positive and highly suspicious findings in nine percent of the patients who were screened. Through Jan. 7, 204 patients had received low-dose CT lung screenings and many of them received diagnoses in addition to those that were positive.
Forty patients require follow-up care and 30 patients were diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension or pulmonary fibrosis. Another 34 patients received diagnoses of either coronary artery disease or suspicious aneurysms. Fifteen patients had other findings, six required additional medical imaging, four needed biopsies and three had endobronchial lesions.
“In McHenry County where lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer-related cause of death, the screenings may help us find lung cancer early,” said Dr. Spiro Gerolimatos, an independent radiologist at Centegra Health System. “This is especially important because lung cancer does not have symptoms. It usually spreads before it is found.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says low-dose CT lung screenings may prevent as many as 20 percent more deaths from lung cancer than chest X-ray screenings. In 2011, 55 percent of lung cancer diagnoses at Centegra Hospital-McHenry and 51 percent at Centegra Hospital-Woodstock were found in the most advanced stage of cancer.
CT lung screening is not for everyone. Only heavy smokers between the ages of 55 and 74 who have smoked one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years should receive low-dose CT lung screenings.
Centegra will continue to offer the free CT lung screenings through the end of April. For more information visit centegra.org/lungscreening or call 815-334-5566 to schedule a screening.
Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the health care needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Physician Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and the highly anticipated Centegra Hospital-Huntley.
As the region’s leading health care provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information on Centegra Health System visit centegra.org, search Centegra Health System on Facebook and Twitter or call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).