EMMC Lung Cancer Screening Program

More people die every year from lung cancer than from breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. Each year in the US, more than 220,000 patients are diagnosed with lung cancer and 160,000 patients die from lung cancer. Because symptoms of lung cancer generally occur late in the course of the disease, most patients present with relatively advanced disease.  Previous efforts to develop a screening test for early lung cancer have been unsuccessful. In the absence of early warning symptoms, or a reliable early screening test, the overall cure rate for lung cancer remains only 16 percent.

In 2011, results from a large prospective randomized multi-institutional study, the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), provided new hope for an effective early lung cancer screening test. This study demonstrated that annual screening with a low dose CT scan successfully identified a significant number of unsuspected early asymptomatic lung cancers, and patients who were screened experienced a reduction in lung cancer specific deaths.

As a result, several professional organizations in the United States have supported the use of low dose CT scans to screen patients for lung cancer before they present with symptoms of advanced disease. Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to announce a new Lung Cancer Screening Program utilizing low dose CT scans for eligible patients at high risk for developing lung cancer.  Please click on the topics listed to the side for more information and references.

Click on the Printable Shared Decision Making Aid for a convenient printable summary of the benefits and potential risks of lung cancer screening that can be shared with a patient.

Lung cancer screening with low dose CT scans is a new and rapidly evolving service both nationally and locally. This website will be updated as new events occur. A navigational service can be reached by calling 207-973-5293 to answer any questions about this new program.