MVH to host Lung Cancer Screening and Educational Program April 20

(April 12, 2016 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Current or former smokers, who are most at risk for lung cancer, are encouraged to participate in a free community event at Monongahela Valley Hospital (MVH) to learn about the importance of early detection.

MVH will host a Lung Cancer Screening and Educational Program on Wednesday, April 20, at 6 p.m. in the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center.

During the free session, participants will learn about the importance of early detection as well as recent advancements in early detection and treatments. Speakers include: Andrew Zahalsky, M.D., director of Medical Oncology; Radiologist Adil Chaudry, M.D. and Michele Kaczmarek, RN, Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator.

In the United States, there are approximately 40 million current smokers - that's more than 13 percent of the total population. Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the country, contributing to 220,000 lung cancer diagnoses and 150,000 lung cancer deaths each year, according to the American Lung Association. Despite these alarming statistics, there are reasons to be hopeful. To quit smoking is the absolute first step for those who are current smokers, but there's even more that can be done to ensure a healthy future.

Through medical advancements, the way to increase the survival rate of lung cancer is to catch the disease in its early stages. This is why it's important to be screened, even for those people who aren't exhibiting any typical symptoms associated with lung cancer.

Participants enrolling in the MVH lung screening program will commit to yearly low-dose lung screening CT scans. The radiologist will interpret the study and the results will be logged. If the scan reveals a suspicious mark or a lesion, a CT image of the patient's airways is used to plan the route to the abnormality.

Medicare Part B and many private insurance plans now cover annual lung cancer screenings with low-dose CT scans for people who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Age range from 55 to 77
  • A 30 - pack year - have smoked a pack of cigarettes for 30 years, two packs for 15 years or three packs for 10 years
  • Actively smoking or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Free from signs or symptoms of lung disease
  • Possess a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner

MVH is among the first hospitals in the region to use the SPiN Thoracic Navigation System in the detection of lung cancer. The SPiN Thoracic Navigation System is the only system in the world that allows physicians to accurately access small lung lesions via multiple approaches. This assists physicians in detecting lung cancer earlier and without the need for incisions or multiple hospital visits for diagnostic procedures. The navigation and biopsy process takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

"People can come to Monongahela Valley Hospital for lung screening with the confidence that our physicians have the ability to reach some lesions which may be difficult or even impossible to reach with a traditional bronchoscope," said Louis J. Panza Jr., MVH's president and CEO. "The thoracic navigation system is yet another example of the progressive technology our physicians have available to provide the highest level of care to patients."

For reservations, call 724-258-1333.

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