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Lung Cancer Screening Program

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer), and the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.

Each year, more people die of lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.

Unfortunately, by the time most lung cancers are detected, they have already spread widely and are at an advanced stage. This makes cancer difficult to treat or cure.

Harrington offers a comprehensive Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program. This program can detect lung cancer at an earlier stage, often making the disease more treatable. Our program engages the patient, physician, and radiologist to detect, diagnose and collaborate on a care plan that’s individualized.

Read: Lung Cancer Fact Sheet

Are You at Risk?

Patients critical to be screened are those who:
1) Are between 55 and 77 years of age;
2) Are a current smoker, or someone who quit less than 15 years ago;
3) Have a personal history of 30-pack years

Talk with your Primary Care Physician to see if you are a candidate for our Early Detection Screening Program. A physician referral is required. To learn more, call (508) 765-3024.

What Kind of Test is Performed?

The early detection screening test is a simple, fast, and low-dose CT scan ordered by your primary care physician. The exam takes less than 15 minutes to complete but could be life-saving, as it allows radiologists and physicians to detect any suspicious signs of abnormalities within the lungs.

All adult imaging studies at Harrington are read by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center radiologists.

Lung scans are categorized as RAD 1-4, with 1 being negative and 4 being highly suspicious with additional testings recommended.

Is the Test Covered by My Insurance?

Most insurances are covering this early detection screening test. Please consult with your insurance company and your doctor’s office for additional information.

Where Can I Get the Test Done?

Harrington offers CT scan at two locations convenient to our community — Harrington Hospital, at 100 South Street, Southbridge, and Harrington HealthCare at Webster, at 340 Thompson Road,  in Webster.

Program Success 

Since the program began in 2015, Harrington has completed the following number of scans:
2015: 369
2016: 732
2017: 923
2018: 1,144

2018 Findings:

FY19 Q1: The Lung Cancer Screening Program performed 316 low dose CT scans in the first quarter of FY19. This is a 32% increase over the same period in 2017. Of the 316 scans, 113 were new patients (baseline scans). Thirteen patients were classified as 4’s, indicating findings that were suspicious of cancer. Three patients were follow-up scans to previous 4 classifications. Four patients were recommended for further diagnostic testing and the remaining six were recommended for follow up in 3 months. The total number of scans for 2018 was 1,144, a 24 % increase over 2017. 

FY18 Q3/Q4: The Lung Cancer Screening Program performed 296 low dose CT scans from 7/1/18-9/30/18. Of these, 92 patients were new to our program.  Fifteen patients were newly classified as 4’s-suspicious of cancer.  One patient was diagnosed as positive and received treatment through Harrington.  Five patients were recommended for further diagnostic testing &/or thoracic consult. The remaining nine patients are recommended to have a repeat scan in 3-6 months.  There were also 34 incidental findings that were referred to the ordering provider.

FY18 Q2: 282 lung cancer screening scans were done in the 2nd quarter of 2018, a 20% increase from 2017.  Ninety-two (92) were new to our program.  Seventeen (17) patients were classified as 4’s, suspicious of lung cancer. Of the 17 cases, two were positive for cancer and are being treated through Harrington HealthCare.  Eight (8) were recommended for immediate further diagnostic tests or specialists (Pet scan, biopsy &/or thoracic consult).  The remaining seven patients are recommended to have a repeat screening scan in three months.

FY18 Q1: Of the 250 scans done in the first quarter of 2018, 22 were classified as 4’s – suspicious of cancer. Of these 22, three were positive lung cancers, four were recommended for immediate further diagnostic tests or specialists  (PET scan, thoracic consult). The remaining 15 are to have repeat scans in three months.

2017 Findings:

From January 1 to September 30, 2017, Harrington performed 597 total scans for patients who were at-risk for lung cancer.

492 scans were Rad 1 and Rad 2. Fifty-six scans were Rad 3 and 49 scans were RAD 4.

The RAD 4 scans are further broken down: 4A, 4B and 4X, each indicative of a solid nodule increasing in size with potential new growth and increased suspicion of malignancy.

Harrington detected nine RAD 4X scans that were recommended for further testing, treatment or surgery.

Find information on Smoking Cessation resources here.


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