The odds of beating lung cancer - the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in Louisiana
and nationwide - are better if the cancer is caught early. A new type
of screening is helping physicians do just that, and may save lives.
North Oaks was one of the first hospitals on the North Shore to offer the
low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) cancer screening for people with significant
risk of lung cancer due to age and smoking history. The screening is already
proving beneficial -- one of the very first patients tested was found
to be positive, even though she had no symptoms.
“We know that national and regional cancer statistics are high, but
those are just numbers. The real story is the tremendous impact cancer
has on our patients, their families and friends,” comments
Radiologist J.P. Miller, MD, of North Oaks Imaging Associates. “The benefit of picking up these
cancers at a more treatable stage is huge. Early detection often means
a greater chance of survival, lower treatment costs and the opportunity
for patients to continue to lead active and productive lives.”
According to Dr. Miller, symptoms of lung cancer may include a persistent
cough, pain in the chest, shoulder or back that is unrelated to coughing
pain, shortness of breath and changes in the voice, such as being hoarse.
The number of years patients smoke and the number of packs smoked per
day also increase risk, he adds.
Patients may qualify for the CT screenings if they meet all of the following criteria:
- They are ages 55-79 and
- Have smoked a pack a day for at least 30 years; or two packs a day for
15 years and
- Are current smokers, or former smokers who quit within the past 15 years.
Dr. Miller recommends talking with your primary care physician to determine
if you are a candidate for the CT screening, which takes about 10 minutes
and is performed by a registered technologist. If you are a candidate,
your doctor will provide the order you will need to schedule the screening.
Each cash price test costs $150 and covers the screening and radiologist fees.
In some cases, additional medical procedures are needed, for which normal
billing processes will be followed.
CT lung cancer screening services are provided at the following locations:
To schedule an appointment, call North Oaks Patient Scheduling from 7 a.m.
to 5:30 p.m. In Hammond, call (985) 230-7777 and in Livingston, call (225) 686-4899.