KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nov. 12, 2013) — Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States and claims more lives than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. Early detection dramatically improves treatment outcomes but often early stages of lung cancer go undetected thus increasing the need for comprehensive screenings for high risk patients. Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, in conjunction with the Saint Luke’s Thoracic Center and the Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute, is launching a new lung cancer screening program designed to offer the greatest level of screening expertise, speed of diagnosis, and comprehensive treatment if necessary.
The latest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends individuals who are at high risk for lung cancer receive annual low-dose CT scans to improve early detection rates. The Saint Luke’s lung cancer screening program is designed to not only meet but exceed those guidelines and differs from other programs in the region in several important ways.
"One of the key differences with the Saint Luke’s Lung Cancer Screening Program centers on the level of expertise and specialization of the radiologists reading the CT scans," said Melissa Rosado de Christenson, M.D., thoracic radiologist. "Our patients’ diagnostic images will be read by highly trained and experienced thoracic radiologists which means they are being evaluated by experts in the field who only read chest imaging studies. These radiologists have the highest level of knowledge and expertise and because of this, they are most qualified to evaluate and identify potential health problems."
When a patient completes their lung cancer screening, that scan is immediately read by the thoracic radiologist who then sits down to personally discuss the individual patient’s results and answer any questions the patient may have. In fact, the patient has the opportunity to view their images. The personal consultation with the thoracic radiologist is another key program differentiator.
If an abnormality is discovered and treatment is needed, patients then have the benefit of immediate access to the Saint Luke’s Thoracic Center, which provides a complete, comprehensive approach to lung cancer treatment through access to a multidisciplinary team of highly trained thoracic experts, including pulmonary medicine specialists, thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonary pathologists, thoracic radiologists, and a nursing staff with thoracic expertise.
"Access to the team of experts at the Saint Luke’s Thoracic Center is another hallmark of the new lung cancer screening program," said Dr. Rosado de Christenson. "The latest research tells us that lung cancer patients benefit most from a multidisciplinary approach and our thoracic team provides all the necessary expertise under one roof – providing the patient with ease of access and the most comprehensive approach to their care."
The cost for the new lung cancer screening is $240 and individuals who are interested in scheduling an appointment can do so by calling 816-932-6800.
Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute
Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute provides the full continuum of care – from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship – for cancer patients and their families. In addition, patients have access to the latest developments in treatments through industry and National Cancer Institute-supported clinical research studies.
Saint Luke’s Thoracic Center
Saint Luke’s Thoracic Center brings together a multidisciplinary team of thoracic and oncology experts committed to providing the highest level of care in the prevention, detection, and treatment of lung cancer and other chest diseases.
Saint Luke’s Health System
Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute and Saint Luke’s Thoracic Center are members of Saint Luke's Health System, which consists of 10 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.