You are not alone. MaineGeneral is here to help you or your loved one with a lung cancer diagnosis.
You have access to a complete set of services for state-of-the-art care, including diagnostic testing and treatment with specialists in thoracic surgery, medical and radiation oncology and interventional pulmonology through the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care. This care is available in one place, right here in the Kennebec Valley. There is no need to travel to get a screening done and, if needed, treatment.
Lung cancer usually doesn't have symptoms until it has advanced, but there are tools to catch lung cancer early. Early detection and treatment can save your life.
Caught at Stage I, for example, the chance of five-year survival is 80 percent; that rate drops to a less than 10 percent chance of survival when lung cancer is caught in Stage III or Stage IV.
Screening for early detection of lung cancer is available and is safe and effective.
A National Institutes of Health study found the risk of dying of lung cancer could be reduced by at least 20 percent with the use of a low-dose CT scan of the chest. This kind of X-ray does not need any preparation and can be done in less than two minutes. The scan is painless.
For people who are at increased risk to develop lung cancer (certain smokers age 55-80), the scan generally is a covered benefit by insurance with no out-of-pocket expense.
MaineGeneral Medical Center is dedicated to the health and well-being of people living in and around the Kennebec Valley. In 2015, the health system began an active screening program to detect lung cancer early, and it is now the leader in the state in the number of screenings done in the last year.
Most people know that tobacco use causes most lung cancers. Maine’s smoking rate is higher than the national average (19.8 percent in Maine compared to 17 percent nationally). We have a higher rate of those who get and die from lung cancer than national rates.
Lung cancer also can occur in people who have never smoked. Being exposed to radon and asbestos can lead to lung cancer. Maine has higher rates of radon and asbestos found in our homes than in other parts of the country.