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Baptist Health Paducah to host lung cancer screening forum



Baptist Health Paducah will host community forum on Feb. 18 in the Heart Center Auditorium to discuss lung cancer – Kentucky’s most deadly cancer.

The forum, sponsored by the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) and its District Cancer Council, will feature experts discussing a recommendation by a federal panel for screening people at high risk for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). The recommended screening of high-risk patients raises questions about its usefulness, cost and insurance reimbursement issues, and when the guidelines will be used.

Anyone interested in learning more about lung cancer may attend the event, including members of the public, health care providers, as well as government and community leaders. The panel discussion will include lung cancer screening specialists, as well as information on tobacco dependence treatment and a summary of how lung cancer impacts Kentucky health statistics. Registration begins at 11:45 and includes a light lunch. The one-hour program begins at noon. For information or to RSVP, phone 270.442.1310.

The recommendation was issued in December 2013 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendation includes screening people who are 55 through 79 years old and have a 30 pack year or greater history of smoking, who are either current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years. A “pack year” means that someone has smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for a year.

At least 90 percent of people who develop lung cancer die from the disease. It is hoped that screening will identify more early cases of lung cancer and increase survival rates. Experts caution, however, that helping smokers stop smoking and protecting nonsmokers from exposure to tobacco smoke are the most effective ways to decrease sickness and death associated with lung cancer. In addition, people who quit smoking will continue to see their risk go down over time.

The Kentucky Cancer Program offers a new program, “Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: Plan to be Tobacco Free!” that uses treatment navigators to help smokers decide to quit and find resources to help them do so. For more information on tobacco cessation, phone KCP at 270.442.1310.