The Yale Lung Screening and Nodule Program is dedicated to providing individuals who are at risk for developing lung cancer with individualized, evidence-based care. Screening for lung cancer is a new clinical practice that is based on the results from the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) and years of clinical research. The NLST demonstrates that, in certain people, a well-organized approach to screening can prevent 1 in 5 deaths from lung cancer.
Why Yale Lung SCAN for Lung Screening?
A well organized and integrated program is critical to ensuring optimal benefit from screening. Lung cancer screening done well requires a thorough evaluation, not simply a scan. The benefits and potential risks of screening are dependent on a complex interplay of many factors including an individual’s risk for developing lung cancer, his or her underlying health issues, how well a screening chest CT scan is interpreted, and how its results are acted upon.
The Yale Lung Screening and Nodule Program is a comprehensive program, involving a multidisciplinary team of internationally recognized pulmonologists, chest radiologists, thoracic surgeons, thoracic oncologists, smoking cessation specialists, and nurse practitioners whose primary goal is to provide patients at risk for developing lung cancer with individualized, evidence-based screening. Our program includes:
· Personalized lung cancer risk evaluation and clinical assessment
· Detailed discussion of individual benefits and downsides of lung screening
· Smoking cessation counseling and treatment for active smokers
· Low dose screening CT scan or other tests, based on the clinical assessment
· CT scan review and interpretation by a dedicated and experienced team
· Management recommendations of any findings from our expert panel
· Continuity of care and ongoing monitoring
The members of our Lung Screening and Nodule team meet regularly to discuss each screened individual in order to ensure that all aspects of care are met in the best possible way. Ultimately, the individual benefits from the collective expertise of the team.
Our program has been recognized by the American College of Chest Physicians as a Center of Excellence.
Why is smoking cessation included in our program?
Smoking remains the most significant risk factor for lung cancer, and one that can be modified. The most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke. Quitting smoking is difficult, but methods to help accomplish this have become quite sophisticated, with data showing that a program tailored to an individual can help increase quit rates. The Yale Smoking Cessation Program is a state of the art program that offers personalized smoking cessation treatment.
There are three factors that make Yale a leader in lung cancer screening:
1. Expertise: The clinicians involved in Yale Lung SCAN are internationally recognized for their expertise, and serve on national and international task forces that are defining the standards and quality metrics for the implementation of lung cancer screening programs.
2. Team approach and collective judgment: Yale Lung SCAN utilizes a multidisciplinary evidence-based approach to maximize the benefits from screening for individuals at risk for developing lung cancer.
3. Forefront of knowledge: Yale Lung SCAN is actively engaged in research to provide answers to the many unresolved issues regarding screening for lung cancer.
The Yale Lung Nodule Program
The Nodule Program has been designed to evaluate individuals who have had lung nodules identified on a screening CT scans or on scans performed for other diagnostic reasons. Our team integrates an individual’ s clinical evaluation, including cancer risk profile, with the imaging results, generating an evidence-based recommendation on how best to monitor, evaluate, and treat each pulmonary nodule. These recommendations are communicated clearly to the patient and his/her primary healthcare provider.
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As healthcare providers, we know cancer treatment is complex but we really don't have enough information about the burden of treatment on patients. Yale researchers in the Cancer Outcomes Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) program studied the treatment of Medicare patients with lung cancer. They determined how many days a patient with a new diagnosis of early stage lung cancer spent interacting with the healthcare system during their first year of treatment. On average, a patient spent 1 out of every 7 days interacting with the healthcare system, seeing 20 different physicians and prescribed 12 different medications. This important study provides a foundation for understanding "the work" of being a patient.