Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC), which along with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital (AGCH), and French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC), are Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals, is pleased to announce that Marian Cancer Care at Mission Hope Cancer Center has been named a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA).

Designated Screening Centers of Excellence are committed to provide clear information based on current evidence on who is a candidate for lung cancer screening, and comply with comprehensive standards based on best practices developed by professional bodies such as the American College of Radiology (ACR), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP) for monitoring screening quality, radiation dose and diagnostic procedures within an experienced, multi-disciplinary clinical setting.

In the fall of 2014, Dignity Health Central Coast started a proactive lung cancer screening program for those with a high risk of developing lung cancer. 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 patients and their primary care physician, if necessary.

“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 Stephen Vara, M.D., Medical Oncologist, Mission Hope Cancer Center. “With our screening program, we can save the lives of patients at high risk for lung cancer through early detection.  We want to bring awareness to individuals that meet the criteria for screening and are pleased that our commitment to responsible lung cancer screening has been nationally recognized as a screening center of excellence.”

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 Marian Cancer Care at Mission Hope Cancer Center is proud to be among the 21 facilities in California to have received this prestigious designation.

This recent designation falls on the heels of Marian Regional Medical Center again earning CEO Cancer Gold Standard re-accreditation for maintaining a strong commitment to the health of its employees and satisfying the latest, comprehensive requirements of the Gold Standard.

To earn and maintain CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ accreditation, Marian meets specific requirements in corporate culture and health benefits: establish policies and programs to reduce cancer risk by prohibiting tobacco use and supporting tobacco cessation efforts; promote physical activity, healthy nutrition and weight management; provide health insurance options that include detecting cancer at its earliest stages, access to quality care, and participation in clinical trials; promote employee awareness of these initiatives; and support the needs of cancer survivors in the workplace.

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 Marian Regional Medical Center

Marian Regional Medical Center, located in Santa Maria, California, is rated among the top 10% in the nation for cardiac care and its cancer program is distinguished as the only comprehensive Community Cancer Center on the Central Coast.  The need to meet the demand for quality, technologically-advanced care for a growing community led Marian to open its doors to a new state-of-the-art, 191-bed facility in the spring of 2012.  The new facility houses the largest and most comprehensive perinatology/neonatology service providing the most compassionate, quality care to the littlest of patients.

Marian is a Dignity Health member of the Central Coast, which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, CA, St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, CA and St. John’s Pleasant Valley in Camarillo, CA. 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. Learn more at www.dignityhealth.org/marianregional/.