Burlington, MA (March 21, 2018) – Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, which has one of the largest clinical lung cancer screening programs in the country, today announced that it has screened more than 5,000 patients since the inception of its program in January 2012. The hospital was the first facility in the U.S. to be designated an accredited Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology. Lahey’s program serves as a model for lung cancer screening and has provided information and assistance to more than 700 lung cancer screening centers nationwide.
“Our goal is to save the lives of patients who have a high risk of lung cancer through our low-dose CT lung screening program, while sharing our knowledge with patients, providers and policymakers nationwide to help improve overall lung cancer survival rates, ” said Andrea McKee, M.D., chief of radiation oncology at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. “Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in America, but for patients at high-risk there is a proven screening option that can save lives. We’re proud to have reached this critical milestone in our program as we continue to play an active role in helping set safe and responsible standards for the early detection of lung cancer across the country.”
Of the 5,000 patients Lahey has screened, 165 have been diagnosed with lung cancer, 80 percent of which have been Stage I, the earliest and most curable stage of the disease. Patients diagnosed with screen-detected Stage I lung cancer have nearly a 90% percent five-year survival rate; comparatively, patients diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer have a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent. As a result of the screening program, for the first time last year, Lahey Hospital detected more early stage than late stage lung cancer.
Lahey screens for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), which has been proven to find lung cancer at its earliest stages. It is the first and only cost-effective test shown to reduce lung cancer deaths.
Due in part to Lahey's efforts, Medicare now covers low-dose CT lung cancer screening for individuals aged 55-77 who have smoked on average at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years and who continue to smoke or have quit within the last 15 years. The Affordable Care Act requires that private insurers cover CT lung screening for those at high risk.
About Lahey Health
Lahey Health is an integrated health care system committed to providing the full continuum of health care services close to where patients live and work. The system is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals, physicians, behavioral health services, and post-acute programs including home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources. Lahey Health includes nearly 1,400 locally based physicians throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services, more than 30 primary care physician practices, and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities. For more information, visit LaheyHealth.org.