CINCINNATI (December 16, 2021) – The Christ Hospital is increasing their efforts to ensure high-risk tristate residents understand the risk of lung cancer and schedule a noninvasive screening. The early identification scan, completed in 20 seconds, significantly improves a lung cancer patient’s survival, but regionally, only 5% of high-risk individuals take time to get scanned—and many don’t know the screening is available.
Lung cancer is a looming cancer giant that towers over the country with 250,000 new lung cancer patients diagnosed annually. Regionally, Kentucky leads the nation in lung cancer mortality, and it remains Ohio’s greatest cancer threat.
“You can combine colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, and together they barely reach the mortality rate of lung cancer,” said Julian Guitron, MD, Thoracic Surgeon, The Christ Hospital Health Network.
The Christ Hospital mails thousands of postcards to tristate residents monthly to raise awareness about the low-dose screening, but awareness is not spreading as quickly as the cancer does. Those at greatest risk are long-term smokers, which comprises more than 80% of lung cancer patients.
“The greatest challenge is that most high-risk individuals at early lung cancer stages feel fine and have no symptoms,” said Dr. Guitron. “By the time symptoms appear, lung cancer is generally advanced and very difficult to treat. Lung cancer screening is the best way to identify cancers at the tiny nodule stage.”
The Christ Hospital urges all high-risk long-term smokers to schedule an early lung cancer screening.
“The fortunate circumstance is that we have a dedicated lung nodule clinic here at The Christ Hospital,” said Dr. Vishal Jivan, MD, Pulmonologist, Lung Nodule Clinic, The Christ Hospital. “We are one of the first in the region to have a Monarch Navigational Bronchoscope,” said Dr. Jivan, who explained that The Monarch improves the reach, vision, and control for bronchoscopy procedures—including biopsies.
The lungs, like an oak tree, have a main trunk with large branches that progressively narrow to slender shoots at the furthest reaches. For suspicious scan results, doctors now use the Monarch’s tiny scopes to immediately biopsy any suspicious nodules to confirm a diagnosis. This is vastly different to the recent past when patients waited for months before repeating their X-rays to determine if a spot in question was growing.
Early detection lung screenings, the dedicated lung nodule clinic, multispecialty pulmonology expertise, and innovative Monarch technology offer a significantly more hopeful future for lung cancer patients.
Dr. Guitron, who specializes in noncardiac thoracic surgery, has undergone significant training and has acquired the additional experience necessary to use the Monarch robotic tool to benefits patients. He emphatically recommends early detection scans as the way to change the deadly lung cancer statistics.
“As many as 90% of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive the disease once they have symptoms,” he said. “Lung cancer screening is grossly underutilized, and we are trying to spread the word for all high-risk individuals to complete this completely noninvasive scan.”
Current or former smokers, aged 55 or older, can contact The Christ Hospital to schedule a low-dose CT scan.
About The Christ Hospital Health Network
The Christ Hospital Health Network is an acute care hospital located in Mt. Auburn, with a remote hospital location in Liberty Township, five ambulatory outpatient centers, and dozens of offices conveniently located throughout the region. More than 1,300 talented physicians and more than 6,000 dedicated team members support the Network. Its mission is to improve the health of the community and to create patient value by providing exceptional outcomes and the finest experiences, all in an affordable way. U.S. News & World Report named The Christ Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute—for the seventh consecutive year—the #1 hospital in Greater Cincinnati for cardiology and heart surgery. The Network is named one of Healthgrades “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” for being in the top 1% in the nation for providing the highest clinical quality year after year. It is also a Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award recipient, which recognizes top-performing healthcare organizations that achieve the 95th percentile or above for performance in patient experience. The Christ Hospital is among a select number of hospitals in the nation to be awarded Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. For more than 130 years, The Christ Hospital has provided compassionate care to those it serves.