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Lung cancer is the second most common cancer – trailing only breast and prostate cancers – and a leading cause of death in the U.S., with nearly 130,000 people dying each year from the disease. As with so many other cancers, early detection leads to a much better chance of successfully treating the disease.

Since cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer – contributing to 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths – Holy Name is offering a new screening program for current or former smokers who meet certain criteria. The new comprehensive screening includes a low-dose CT scan, an imaging test that produces detailed images of the lungs.

"With lung cancer being such a common cancer, we want to give current or former smokers the best chance at detecting the disease early," said Dr. Jonathan Lee, Medical Director of Holy Name Cancer Care.

Patients eligible for the screening must be between 50 and 80 years old and currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years. They must also have a history of 20 packs or more per year, which is determined by multiplying the number of years smoked by the average number of packs smoked per day.

Patients also must not have any symptoms of lung cancer, which includes a cough, wheezing, shortness of breath or coughing up blood. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your physician or if you don't have a doctor, find one at https://www.holyname.org/physician.

For patients who are uneasy about going for screening, be assured that the specialists at Holy Name Cancer Care guide patients through all aspects of lung cancer screening, including surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, and smoking cessation.

This is a covered benefit under most insurance plans. For those without insurance, Holy Name offers the exam at a compassionate care rate of $200

For more information, to make an appointment, or to refer a patient or loved one, call 201-833-LUNG (5864).