Mercy employee Gary Trompower says kicking the smoking habit in 2007 after 32 years was one of the hardest (but best) things he’s ever done. A few years later, Gary did another ‘best thing’ for himself: he got a low-dose CT lung cancer screening. Thanks to this quick, pain-free test, Gary’s non-small cell lung cancer was caught early in a very treatable stage.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death for both men and women worldwide. Lung cancer kills more women than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer combined. About 160, 000 people die of lung cancer each year in the U.S. alone.
Of the top four deadliest cancers in America (lung, prostate, breast and colorectal), lung cancer is the only one not subject to routine screening. Until recently, lung cancer did not have a good, early screening tool, and most people were diagnosed at a late stage when treatment options are very limited.
Now we have a game changer: the low-dose CT lung screening.
Based on the findings of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), we know low-dose CT (LDCT) lung screening can save lives of people at high risk for developing lung cancer. These same results have proven true since Mercy Lung Center, a program of Mercy Cancer Center, began offering LDCT lung screenings in the spring of 2013. The hospital has performed more than 700 scans and diagnosed and treated 15 early-stage lung cancers. That’s 15 lives that otherwise may have ended with late-stage lung cancer.
Mercy employee Gary Trompower is one of those 15 survivors.
‘You Have Lung Cancer’: A Scary Thing to Hear From a Doctor
Gary Trompower, a systems technician, smoked for 32 years. This is his story.
I quit cold turkey nine years ago, which was one of the hardest but best things I ever did for myself! About two-and-a-half years ago, I took Mercy’s low-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening and was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. I received the best radiology and surgery services you can find right here at Mercy.
My surgeon used robotic surgery to remove an upper section of my right lung, taking extra lung tissue to remove any growth from around the tumor. Surgery went very well, and I was discharged home the following day.
Today my scheduled CT scans continue to show no more cancer. Thank you, God! I can’t say enough about the fantastic staff at Mercy, and I thank God for the doctors who cared for me. They all made what was a scary, life-changing situation much easier to deal with!
How to Get a Low-dose CT Lung Screening
The LDCT lung screening is quick and easy and results in a minimal amount of radiation exposure. The scan is now covered by Medicare and most private insurance providers. You may qualify for a LDCT lung screening if you meet the following criteria:
• You are between 55 and 77 years old.
• You are currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years.
• And you have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30+ years.
If you think you meet the criteria, you can request a lung screening via Mercy’s website. Or you can call 330-489-1300 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to complete a brief questionnaire to confirm that you qualify. A physician order is required for the testing. If you have any additional questions, call 330-458-4214 to speak with the Mercy Lung Nurse Navigator.