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Temple Healthy Chest Initiative Seeks to Screen More Patients for Lung Cancer

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New program offers a personalized service with a dedicated nurse navigator

Temple University Health System has launched a system-wide lung cancer screening program to catch the disease in its earliest stages in more people, particularly high-risk populations in the Temple service areas.

The new Temple Healthy Chest Initiative will combine and expand successful screening programs already in place at Temple University Hospital and Fox Chase Cancer Center to detect lung cancer. The program will also simultaneously screen for other common comorbidities, such as undiagnosed lung or heart disease, osteoporosis, sleep apnea, diabetes, and other cancers.

“Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in America, but it often doesn’t have early symptoms, which means it’s not caught until it has reached a more advanced and deadlier stage,” said Gerard Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP, Chair of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and Director of the Temple Lung Center. “When caught early, there are more treatment options available and those treatments may be more effective.”

Screening for lung cancer involves a low-dose CT scan, which takes just ten minutes and requires no preparation on the patient’s part.

Recently, a federal task force updated the guidelines on who should be screened for lung cancer, making more people eligible for screening. Today, patients are eligible for lung cancer screening if:

  • they are between the ages of 50 and 80, and
  • currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years, and
  • have a smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (a pack-year equals the number of years smoked multiplied by the average number of packs smoked per day)

If the screening test shows any abnormal findings that might indicate lung cancer or another condition, a dedicated nurse navigator will call the patient to explain their results and help to coordinate follow-up care with a Temple specialist.

Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple Lung Center will develop a treatment plan tailored to fit the patient’s needs, offering access to cutting-edge technology and the latest clinical trials, including condition-specific support groups or smoking cessation programs.

Patients can have a low-dose CT scan at one of five convenient Temple locations: Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Hospital – Main Campus, Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus, Temple University Hospital – Northeastern Campus, and Temple University Hospital – Episcopal Campus.

To schedule an appointment for a lung cancer screening call 800-TEMPLE-MED.