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March 29, 2013
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate earns listing with Lung Cancer Alliance for experience in lung cancer screening

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Upstate Medical University is the only facility in Central New York to be listed by the Lung Cancer Alliance as among the nation’s  “experienced sites” in offering a comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program.

Upstate’s designation is based on its adherence to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines for Lung Cancer Screening. These guidelines describe risk factors for lung cancer, recommend criteria for selecting high-risk individuals for screening, provide recommendations for evaluation and follow-up of nodules found during screening, detail the accuracy of LDCT screening protocols and imaging modalities, and discuss the benefits and risks of screening.

“Individuals who are at an increased risk to develop lung cancer can have the confidence of coming to Upstate for the their lung scan, knowing that we are an experienced site and follow the National Framework of Excellence guidelines,” said Leslie Kohman, M.D., medical director of the Upstate Cancer Center and of Upstate’s Lung Cancer Screening Program.

The National Framework of Excellence guidelines include:

• following an organized plan that includes a proven regimen or protocol that is updated to incorporate new technology and knowledge, such as the one developed by International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP), for subsequent diagnostic testing when a nodule is found on the screening scan;

• having a commitment to a high-quality screening program with adequate staff and resources;

• having the scans read by an American Board of Radiology board certified radiologist with special training and expertise in lung cancer screening;

• being accredited in CT by a certifying organization, such as the American College of Radiology;

• having a modern multi-slice CT scanning equipment managed to provide high-quality, low-dose, and non-contrast spiral CT scans;

• being part of a health care facility that has expertise and excellence in radiographic and/or endoscopic biopsy techniques and that has board certified pulmonary medicine and thoracic surgical practitioners with special interest and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancers diagnosed in screening programs.

In addition to the lung cancer screening, Upstate offers those screened with onsite smoking cessation counseling the evening of the scan.  Follow up smoking cessation counseling is also conducted for up to one year and is included in the $235 screening cost.

The Lung Cancer Screening Program, launched in the fall of 2012, is sponsored by the Upstate Cancer Center and Upstate Radiology. It is targeted for people between 55 and 74 who have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years. Individuals who no longer smoke can be screened, but they must have quit smoking within the last 15 years to be eligible.

Upstate has had extensive experience with low-dose CT scans in the use of lung cancer detection. In 2001, Upstate was one of 12 sites in New York State to participate in the New York Early Lung Cancer Action screening study, which showed significant benefit of low dose scans in detecting cancer tumors.

Visit Lung Cancer Alliance for more information on Lung Cancer Screening Experienced Sites.

For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening Program, contact Linda Veit, M.P.H., at 464-6303. To make an appointment for a screening, call Upstate Connect at 315-464-8668.

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