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New Screening Detects Lung Cancer in Early Stages

Dr. Heather Nagel and Dr. Mark Malias discuss CT scan images of a patient at high risk for lung cancer.

Sadly, in our community, most lung cancers have progressed to stage three or four before diagnosis. To find these cancers earlier, when treatment options and outcomes are better for patients, requires special screening. Indian River Medical Center now offers lung cancer screening to qualified smokers or former smokers.

The early detection screening was designed with leadership from Dr. Mark Malias, director of Thoracic Oncology, and in collaboration with IRMC pulmonologists Drs. Michelle Maholtz, Diego Maldonado, John Suen and Michael Tonner; radiologist Heather Nagel; and internist Maurico Munoz. Using a low-dose CT scan for patients at a high risk for lung cancer, the screening will save lives by catching lung cancer at its earliest stages.

Are you or someone you care about a candidate for this new screening program? To be considered a candidate for the lung cancer screening program, one should be between 54 and 75 years old, have no personal history of cancer, be a current or former heavy smoker (a pack or more per day for 20-30 years) or have quit smoking fewer than 15 years ago.

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