Lung cancer kills more Americans than the next three cancers (breast, colon
and prostate) combined. Typically caught in its later stages, survival
rates are often in the single digits.
St. Jude is at the forefront of changing that statistic, through state-of-the-art
diagnosis and treatments — including robotic surgery to more precisely
remove the cancer, a technique which St. Jude was recently
recognized for being among the nation’s best.
Yet the most powerful tool in dramatically increasing survival rates may
be far simpler: a low-dose CT lung screening. “Low-dose CT lung
screening can detect even small lung abnormalities and is considered the
gold standard in finding lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage,”
explains Daniel Oh, MD, an internationallyrespected thoracic surgeon at
St. Jude who leads the hospital’s new Lung Cancer Screening Clinic.
“Just as mammography and colonoscopy have significantly improved
patient outcomes, routine lung screening can shift diagnosis from latestage
to early, far more curable stages.”
Who should be screened?
The clinic is designed to make screening and education easy and convenient
for those most at risk of lung cancer — former or current heavy
smokers. “Low-dose CT lung screening is covered by most health plans,
so if you have smoked a pack a day for 20 or more years, ask your physician for a
referral,” explains Shannon Lindop, BSN, RN, OCN, Lung Cancer Nurse
Navigator. Heavy smokers who currently smoke or have quit within the last
15 years should also be screened.
Despite being a covered preventive test, less than 5 percent of those
who should be screened are referred by their physician. “Low-dose
CT Lung screenings can identity cancer before there are any clinical signs
or symptoms,” Shannon explains, “making them valuable in saving
Expert review and diagnosis
If a lung nodule or “spot” is found, the patient’s scans
and medical history are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team that includes
Dr. Oh, a pulmonologist and a radiologist to determine what, if any,
follow-up is needed.
“Most nodules are benign, a few require ‘watchful waiting,’
and a few require immediate testing,” Dr. Oh explains, a Harvard-trained
surgeon and Medical Director of the St. Jude Center for Thoracic and Esophageal
Diseases. “By using new evidence-based protocols to minimize unneeded
or invasive procedures, we offer patients the right care at the right
For any questions or to make an appointment, please call (714) 446-5830.
A physician referral may be required, please check with you health plan.