Martha Jefferson Monday: Lung Screening for Smokers Helps Detec - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: Lung Screening for Smokers Helps Detect Cancer Early


A new screening program is now available at Martha Jefferson Hospital and is meant to help patients who might be at risk catch the disease early, which doctors say is important.

"The key with lung cancer is really to detect it as early as possible. Low dose CT allows you to do that," said Dr. Jon Ciambotti, a radiologist at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

According to Dr. Ciambotti, without using sophisticated screening like a CT to look for the cancer, it often times goes completely undetected until it's in late stages.

"Like most cancers, lung cancer does not present clinically to the patient or a physician until it's in an advanced stage."

The screening program follows national guidelines and recommends a low-dose CT scan be done. Doctors will then look at the pictures that are produced to see whether or not cancer exists. For those who qualify, the screening should be done each year. 

"It's much easier than getting a colonoscopy exam every year, and it's easier than getting a mammogram every year," remarked Dr. Ciabmotti.

The screening costs $250 and the CT scan just takes about 20 minutes, but the test isn't for everyone.

People who have a smoking history, smoking at least a pack a day for 30 years or longer, and who are over the age of 55 are the best candidates.

In the end though, no matter who is screened, the ultimate goal is to be able to catch cancer early, so doctors have more options for treatment, and getting patients back on their feet.

"What we need to do is detect it earlier, before the patient notices it, or before it comes to the physician's attention, and the best way to do that is with low dose CT examination," said Dr. Ciabmotti.

If you would like to learn more about the screening, or make an appointment, call our navigator at (434) 654-4483.  If you do not meet the screening guidelines, but would still like to be screened, it is best to talk with your physician about your options.

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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