Program is being introduced during Lung Cancer Awareness Month to detect lung cancer at an early stage, even before symptoms develop

Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals, (Arroyo Grande Community Hospital (AGCH), French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) and Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC)), are offering a proactive lung cancer screening program to those with a high risk of developing lung cancer.

Dignity Health Central Coast is urging community members to take our free, confidential, seven minute online risk assessment.  The screening program, called LungAware, is one of our HealthAware online risk assessments aimed at the early detection of disease.  Individuals who wish to participate can simply log on to our websites at www.arroyograndehospital.org, www.frenchmedicalcenter.org or www.marianmedicalcenter.org and visit the HealthAware page under Medical Services. After completing the LungAware assessment, participants will receive a customized report on their risk potential for the disease.

If an individual is deemed at risk, the option to meet with our oncology nurse navigators will be recommended and a low-dose computerized tomography scan of the chest, commonly called a CT or CAT scan, will be ordered.  The screening, which only takes minutes to complete, produces detailed images of the lungs and other structures inside the chest.  If any abnormalities are present, the scan will be reviewed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team of physicians that specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of lung cancer.  Once reviewed, our physicians will discuss options for further evaluation and treatment with you and your primary care physician, if necessary.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States. While early stage survival rates are high, many lung cancer cases are detected in the later stages, when survival is approximately 3.9%.  Early detection can save lives, and that is why Dignity Health Central Coast has developed this screening program for those deemed at high risk for the lung cancer.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women worldwide, however, it is the only cancer not subject to routine screening,” states Katherine Guthrie, Dignity Health Central Coast Regional Director of Cancer Services. “With our screening program, we can save the lives of patients at high risk for lung cancer through early detection.  During the month of November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we want to bring awareness to individuals that meet the criteria for screening.”

Under the leadership of local physicians, the lung cancer screening program at Dignity Health Central Coast was created to diagnose patients at a treatable stage, before symptoms develop.  For questions about the program, or to find out if you are a candidate, please call 805.346.3434.

About Dignity Health Central Coast

Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service.  Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities. For more information visit www.arroyograndehospital.org; www.frenchmedicalcenter.org; www.marianmedicalcenter.org