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Lung Cancer Screening Day Event at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences

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Lung Cancer Screening Day Event at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences

OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences is hosting a lung cancer screening event on National Lung Screening Day for individuals who meet current guidelines for annual lung screening.

The screening event will be at Stephenson Cancer Center, 800 N.E. 10th St., on Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. It is free and open to people between 50 and 80 years old who have a 20 pack-year or longer smoking history and still smoke or were smokers within the past 15 years. One pack-year is the equivalent of smoking an average of 20 cigarettes — one pack per-day for a year.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in adults in the United States, accounting for approximately 1 in 5 of all cancer deaths. According to the National Institutes of Health, a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) can detect lung cancer in its early stages and reduce deaths by up to 20%. Estimates show that more than 3,300 Oklahomans will be diagnosed with lung cancer for the first time in 2023, and rates of lung cancer screening remain low, with Oklahoma ranked 45th in the country.

According to the American Cancer Society, cigarette smoking is the primary risk factor for lung cancer and is associated with 80% of lung cancer cases and deaths. Almost half a million adults in Oklahoma are smokers, and alarmingly, over 21% of high school students use e-cigarettes. Other risk factors for lung cancer include secondhand smoke, environmental exposure such as air pollution and asbestos, genetic predisposition, and a history of other lung diseases, such as chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema.

“Unfortunately, lung cancer symptoms don’t usually appear until the disease is at an advanced stage and by then, it’s a lot harder to treat,” said Matthew Reinersman, M.D., FACS, thoracic surgical oncologist at Stephenson Cancer Center. “Some of the signs are overlooked as they can be attributed to an infection or the effects of smoking, such as a cough that doesn’t go away or is recurring despite being treated by antibiotics."

The LDCT tests for lung cancer when there are no symptoms. The LDCT takes a highly detailed picture of the lungs and is painless, quick and non-invasive. The scan continuously spins in a spiral motion and takes 3-dimensional images of the lungs that can identify abnormalities as small as a grain of rice.

“We know that cancer screening saves lives and we want to do our part to increase awareness of the importance of screening and to make it more accessible to Oklahomans,” said Reinersman.

In addition to lung cancer screenings, event participants will also receive access to smoking cessation education and materials.

As a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, Stephenson Cancer Center offers a range of lung cancer treatment options. The cancer center is home to Oklahoma’s only two fellowship-trained thoracic oncology surgeons, who focus on treating conditions of the chest. Together, they perform the largest number of minimally invasive robotic lung cancer surgeries in the region, with excellent outcomes. Moreover, Stephenson Cancer Center offers more surgical options for advanced thoracic cancer than any other hospital in the state.

Register for the Lung Screening Day Event at Stephenson Cancer Center by calling (405) 271-LUNG.