Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Posted on: May 30, 2013

Canton, Ohio: Of the top four deadliest cancers in the U.S. (lung, prostate, breast and colorectal), lung cancer has been the only one not subject to routine screening until now. Based on the findings of a large National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), CT lung screening of people at high risk for developing lung cancer can save lives. Studies have shown that low-dose CT (LDCT) lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are at high risk.

“Lung cancer is often not found until a person develops symptoms, which typically means advanced stage cancer,” says Randall J. Harris, M.D., pulmonologist at Mercy Medical Center. “The goal of Mercy’s lung screening program is to detect lung cancers in its earliest stage, before a person demonstrates any symptoms, for which intervention improves survival or possibly provides a cure.”

LDCT lung screening is quick (less than 10 seconds), easy and results in a minimal amount of radiation exposure. Mercy Lung Center is currently offering LDCT lung screening for the low cost of $50 to individuals who meet the established high-risk criteria. Currently, Medicare and most insurances do not provide coverage for LDCT lung screenings.

You may qualify for a low-cost LDCT lung screening at Mercy Medical Center if you fall into one of the following categories:

Category 1

• You are between 55 and 74 years old.

• You are currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years.

• And you have a 30 or more pack year history of smoking.*

Category 2

• You are between 50 and 74 years old.

• You have a 20 pack year history of smoking.*

• And you have one additional lung cancer risk factor (not to include secondhand smoke).

* Pack year is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked on average per day by the number of years the person has smoked. For example, one pack year is equal to smoking one pack per day for one year, or two packs per day for half a year, and so on.

Results from your LDCT lung screening are forwarded to your primary care physician. Mercy Lung Center will review your findings and recommend follow-up care based on national clinical guidelines.

“Our Mercy Lung Center team, consisting of dedicated medical experts and a lung nurse navigagtor, is committed to prompt and personalized care whether it is offering reassurance about benign findings or providing expert follow-up care for suspicious results,” says Karen Coughlin, R.N., MSN, administrative director of Mercy Cancer Center.

With questions or for assistance in determining if you meet the criteria, call Mercy’s lung nurse navigator at 330-458-4214 to complete a brief screening questionnaire before scheduling. A physician order from your primary care doctor is required for testing.

The American Lung Association recommends lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans for people who meet the criteria. For more information, visit

Facts About Lung Cancer:

• Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women worldwide.

• Nearly 160,000 Americans die of lung cancer each year.

• Lung cancer risk factors include having cancer in the past, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, a family history of lung cancer and exposure to certain substances (including asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, diesel fumes, nickel, radon, silica and uranium).

• Smoking is the cause of at least 80 percent of lung cancer deaths.

About Mercy Medical Center

Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carroll County, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see


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