After undergoing a lumpectomy, Karen McGowan of Swedesboro faced questions that thousands of women face every year. Will I need chemo? Radiation? Some other treatment? And because it was March 2020, another question was on her mind. Would she be comfortable going to a hospital for treatment just as COVID-19 was arriving in South Jersey?
GLOUCESTER COUNTY, NJ (October 29, 2014) – Inspira Health Network’s comprehensive lung cancer screening program has expanded to now include screening at Inspira Medical Center Woodbury. Inspira’s program provides the region with access to critical screening for early detection which is proven to increase survivorship.
“Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States for both men and women and 85% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking,” said Sandra Murray, R.N., O.C.N., C.T.T.S., thoracic, head and neck oncology nurse navigator at Inspira. “Additionally, lung cancer rates in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties are among the highest in New Jersey. We are pleased to now be able to offer our community this life saving screening at two locations.”
The program follows the high risk inclusion criteria as established by the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial, which found that screening for lung cancer using low-dose CT scans can lower the chance of dying from lung cancer by 20%.
“Screening for lung cancer means testing before there are any symptoms,” said Maureen Sacchetti, director of Radiology at Inspira Woodbury. “Often, when a person finally develops symptoms of lung cancer they are typically at an advanced stage. By offering this low-dose CT scan, there is a much better chance that patients can be cured with appropriate treatment and survive the disease.”
Those eligible for screening must be:
- Between the ages of 55 and 74 and are a current or former smoker with at least a 30 pack year smoking history (a “pack year” is the number of packs smoked daily multiplied by the number of years smoking)
- Former smokers must have quit within the last 15 years
- No history of any form of cancer within the last five years
Patients who do not fall into the criteria will not be eligible for the program. However, for anyone who has questions about lung cancer or would like help with quitting smoking, Inspira’s thoracic, head and neck oncology nurse navigator is available to provide support, education and resources.
The research supporting the benefits of lung cancer screening is recent, and therefore most health insurance companies and Medicare do not cover it yet. Inspira currently charges only $125 for the lung cancer screening CT scan and interpretation—considerably lower than other programs. Any recommended follow up tests and physician appointments are not included in this charge, but are likely covered by most insurance plans and Medicare.
Inspira initially launched its lung cancer screening program this past April in Vineland and now with expansion to Woodbury, the network provides even more access to life-saving screening for people in southern New Jersey. Community members who are interested in lung cancer screening, whether it is for them or for a loved one, are encouraged to contact Sandra Murray at (856) 641-8670.
About Inspira Health Network
Inspira Health Network is a charitable nonprofit health care organization formed in November 2012 by the merger of South Jersey Healthcare and Underwood-Memorial Hospital. The network, which traces its roots to 1899, now comprises three hospitals, four multi-specialty health centers and a total of more than 60 locations. These include outpatient imaging and rehabilitation centers; urgent care; numerous specialty centers, including sleep medicine, cardiac testing and wound care; home care and hospice; and more than two dozen primary and specialty physician practices in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
Together with its medical staff of more than 1,100 physicians and other care providers, as well as more than 5,500 employees, Inspira Health Network provides evidence-based care to help each patient achieve the best possible outcome. Clinical and support staffs are focused on providing quality care in a safe environment. For more information about Inspira Health Network, call 1-800-INSPIRA