Samaritan Medical Center now offers early lung cancer screenings, which are recommended for people ages 50 and older who either smoke now or have in the past.
Janelle G. Bossuot, community relations coordinator, said Samaritan has partnered with Northern Radiology for the program, which involves a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan, a professional reading of the scan, a written report sent to the participants personal physician, a referral to a pulmonologist, if warranted, and information from the New York State Quit line.
Lung cancer is hard to detect in its early stages because there are few symptoms in the early stages, she said.
The $200 scan is not covered by insurance companies, she said, so patients will be charged $200 for participation.
Eligible participants include people between the ages of 55 and 74 who have smoked at least one pack a day for 30 years or two packs each day for 15 years, or people older than 50 who have smoked one pack each day for 20 years, or two packs each day for 10 years.
Ms. Bossuot said the screening program is self-referral, but people should call ahead so a nurse navigator can determine if they are a good candidate for the program. Samaritan uses the national Comprehensive Cancer network guidelines to help determine eligibility, she said.
It was opened to Samaritan employees in January until the program gained momentum in March when it was opened to the public.
For more information, or to set up an appointment, people may call the program at 782-7001.
Ms. Bossuot said she does not have another early cancer screening program now, but the hospital participated with partners in March to offer a colon cancer screening. The early lung cancer screening program will remain a permanent fixture.