National Veterans Lung Cancer Screening Program Taking Place at MedStar Georgetown

October 24, 2014

Local Veterans Encouraged To Call For A Free Risk Assessment To Determine Need For Screening CT Scan

Washington, D.C. (October 24, 2014) - MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in partnership with Lung Cancer Alliance, the Vietnam Veterans of America, American Veterans and Military Officers Association of America, invites Veterans in the region to call for an assessment of their risk for lung cancer and a discussion about the potential benefits and risks of CT screening.

Veterans are at higher risk for lung cancer than civilian populations because of higher smoking rates and exposure to known carcinogens during active duty.

The month of November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and November 11 is Veterans Day. National Veterans Lung Cancer Screening Week is November 10-14, 2014.

"A CT scan is a quick and non-invasive way to detect lung cancer early when it's still treatable and potentially curable," said Eric Anderson, MD, pulmonologist, director of Interventional Pulmonology at MedStar Georgetown. "The CT scan can detect cancers or suspicious lesions before patients even have symptoms."

"While lung cancer can take decades to develop, symptoms do not usually become obvious until the cancer has already grown into late stage when survival is less than 15%," said Giuseppe Giaccone, MD, director of the Lung Cancer program at MedStar Georgetown.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It takes the lives of more Americans than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers—combined.

Those at highest risk are age 55 or over, a current or former smoker and have a 30 pack-year history of smoking. A 30 pack-year history means a pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years or three packs a day for 10 years.

Today, there is scientific validation that screening those at high risk with low-dose CT scans can save tens of thousands of lives a year. MedStar Georgetown was part of a national study that showed a 20 percent survival benefit for those who received a lung cancer CT screening.

"There is no better way to honor the men and women who served our country than with an initiative that could save their lives," said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, Lung Cancer Alliance President and CEO. "We applaud MedStar Georgetown for participating in the 3rd Annual Honoring Veterans Initiative."

For veterans who contact MedStar Georgetown we will facilitate a discussion on risk and if necessary schedule and perform a low dose CT to screen for the disease. The cost of a CT scan is $75. We encourage any and all Veterans who feel they could be at high risk to contact us for more information.

To call for a free risk assessment at MedStar Georgetown call 202-444-2132.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital with 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis—caring for the whole person—MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.

MedStar Georgetown's centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown's healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

About Lung Cancer Alliance

Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org, is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives and advancing research by empowering those living with and at risk for lung cancer. We offer personalized support, information and referral services at no cost through a team of trained, dedicated staff members to help patients, their loved ones and those at risk; advocate for increased lung cancer research funding and equitable access, coverage and reimbursement for screening, treatment, diagnostics, and testing; conduct nationwide education campaigns about the disease, risk and early detection.

About Vietnam Veterans Of America

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), www.vva.org, is the only national Vietnam veterans' organization congressionally chartered and primarily dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's goals are to promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of Vietnam veterans, at the same time that we live up to our founding principle of "Never again will one generation of American veterans abandon another generation." Therefore VVA is concerned about high risk of lung cancer in every generation of veterans, from veterans who served in WWII & Korea to those serving in Afghanistan today.

About Military Officers Association Of America

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the one military association that's with you every step of the way, serving your needs, fighting for your rights. Whether you're deployed overseas, making the transition to a second career or grappling with your military benefits, MOAA is on your side for life. Make smarter choices, throughout your life and career, for you and your family. Join MOAA today!www.joinmoaa.org

About American Veterans

American Veterans (AMVets) is one of America's veterans service organizations that is dedicated to enhancing and safeguarding the entitlements for all U.S. veterans who have served honorably and to improve the quality of life for them, their families and the communities where they live through leadership, advocacy and services.

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