Palmetto Health Hospital named “Screening Center of Excellence” for lung cancer test

Palmetto Health recently was named a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance. The medical center was one of 225 hospitals to receive the designation.

“We are proud and honored to be working with Palmetto Health as a Lung Cancer Alliance Screening Center of Excellence. Their commitment to practice responsible lung cancer screening will lead to advancements in research and many lives saved. They are an example to follow,” said Lung Cancer Alliance President and CEO Laurie Fenton Ambrose.

Palmetto Health offers a low-dose CT lung cancer screening targeted for long-time smokers. The hospital measures the “pack years” of a smoker, which is determined by the number of packs smoked per day times the number of years smoked. Individuals who are 55 years old to 80 years old and have a 30-pack-years history whether they continue to smoke or have quit within the past 15 years are eligible for the diagnostic test.

As the leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., the screening is an essential part of early detection for lung cancer. Palmetto Health’s designation as an Lung Cancer Alliance Screening Center of Excellence represents the hospital’s commitment to providing adequate information for candidates for the test as well as complying to clinical best practice standards developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program.

“Seventy-five percent of lung cancer is diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease which greatly reduces the chance of survival. It’s a disease that is asymptomatic, so once a patient notices symptoms the cancer has progressed significantly,” said Palmetto Health pulmonologist Dr. Mark Mayson. “This screening offers us a valuable tool to help find cancer earlier when the survival rate is much higher.”

According to the 2012 Adult Tobacco Survey, about 41.2 percent of South Carolina adults have tried a cigarette, while 17.8 percent currently use cigarettes. Mayson said early detection is key to survival and smokers can quit at anytime to reduce their risk.

“Although smokers still are at a higher risk than non-smokers, for every year that they have quit, their risk continues to decrease,” Mayson said.

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