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    CPMC launches lung cancer screening program for at-risk individuals

    Contact: Dean Fryer - 415-600-7484
    FryerD@sutterhealth.org

    San Francisco, CA - Feb 18, 2014 - Officials at Sutter Health's California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) today announced the launch of the Bay Area's first comprehensive lung cancer screening programOpens new window designed for early detection of cancer in those individuals at high risk. The program offers a pulmonary consultation appointment, followed by a low-dose CT scan for patients between the ages of 55 and 74 who have a history of smoking or who currently smoke.

    "CPMC is the first center in the greater Bay Area to initiate a Lung Cancer Screening program managed by a multidisciplinary panel of physicians. This approach links patients with a pulmonologist for consultation, screening and education so they can make appropriate decisions about their health care," said CPMC CEO Warren Browner, MD, MPH. "Because research shows that CT scans are effective at early detection of lung cancer, when it is more curable, we counsel patients about the screening process and the importance of quitting smoking."

    CPMC physician Dr. Tze-Ming Benson ChenOpens new window is very excited by the launch of the program. "Our physicians have expertise in the evaluation and care of patients with lung nodules and lung cancer with a focus on compassion and understanding. Patients suspected of having lung cancer are seen quickly and if appropriate, a diagnosis and stage are determined within one week and treatment initiated within two weeks. To assist patients who are under extreme emotional stress and anxiety, we handle their appointments and testing so that they can focus on getting better."

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. In 2012, the American Lung Association reported that lung cancer was expected to cause more than 160,000 deaths - more than those caused by colorectal, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers combined.

    "Most patients with lung cancer have smoked cigarettes, and the risk remains elevated for years after stopping," Browner added. "Without screening, lung cancer is usually detected late in the course of the disease after symptoms, such as a cough, appear."

    During the consultation, the pulmonologist will discuss medical history, provide education on the risks and benefits of screening, and make sure the patient meets the recommended guidelines for screening. If the screening criteria are met and the patient is interested in pursuing screening, they will be scheduled for the CT scan, located at CPMC's Radiology Department in San Francisco. Those with a lung abnormality identified on a CT scan will discuss next steps with their pulmonologist.

    Unique to CPMC, all lung nodules and lung cancers are presented at CPMC's Diagnostic Thoracic Tumor Board, where each case is reviewed by a panel of experts including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, and radiologists. Together, these specialists discuss diagnostic and treatment options and outline the best course of action for the patient. "This is a common-sense approach towards the evaluation and management of patients with suspected or diagnosed lung cancer," emphasized Browner.

    CPMC offers comprehensive diagnosis and leading-edge care for lung cancer, and its cancer team works closely with patients and their families to review treatment options. The CPMC Lung Cancer Screening Program is open to current or former smokers who are ages 55 to 74. If you meet the criteria, please call 1-888-637-2762 or complete the online form at www.cpmc.org/lungscreenOpens new window.

    About California Pacific Medical Center

    At San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center we deliver personal, hands-on care to every single patient, every single day. As one of California’s largest private, community-based, not-for-profit, teaching medical centers, we research the most up-to-date treatments, hire the most qualified individuals, and practice the most modern, innovative medicine available. We deliver the highest quality expert care, with kindness and compassion, in acute, post-acute and outpatient services, as well as preventive and complementary medicine. We also provide disease counseling, family support and wellness treatments. Throughout the entire organization, every member of the CPMC team is committed to giving our patients the individual, hands-on attention they deserve. Like us on, FacebookOpens new window, watch us on YouTubeOpens new window and follow us on TwitterOpens new window.