DoD Expands Lung Cancer Screening For Vets


By Patricia Kimelung cancer


A third military hospital has begun offering lung cancer screenings for patients considered to be at high risk for developing the disease.
The Naval Medical Center San Diego has joined Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., in offering the screenings for smokers or former smokers over age 55 who averaged a pack of day for 30 years.
The broadening military lung cancer detection program puts the Defense Department at the forefront of lung cancer death prevention, said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Lung Cancer Alliance, adding that the civilian community is just starting to embrace the practice.
“It’s heartening. [The military] did not have to do this, but they knew it was the ethical thing to do. It shows that the leadership of the military health system is forward-thinking,” Ambrose said during a screening awareness event at Walter Reed on Nov. 6.
In late July, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a draft recommendation proposing that those considered at high risk for developing lung cancer be screened.
The test involves receiving a low-dose CT scan yearly to detect tumors.
Eighty to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths are the result of smoking.


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