Health Science Nord is looking for more participants for a pilot project for lung cancer. Last year, the Sudbury Hospital,…
Last year, the Sudbury Hospital, in collaboration with Cancer Care Ontario, launched its lung cancer screening program for high-risk people  HSN was one of three hospitals in Ontario to participate with Lakeridge Health in Oshawa and Ottawa Hospital.
The idea of the pilot program came from a major US study that determined that low dose CT scans, performed on individuals of a certain age and smoking history, could help identify if there were anomalies that could lead to lung cancer.
Dr. Amanda Hello, Regional Primary Care Management for the Northeast Cancer Center, says it’s important to have a program like this, especially in our region.
“In the northeast we have higher incidence levels for lung cancer than the rest of Ontario and a poor five-year survival from lung cancer,” she says.
“This is due in part to the fact that we have higher smoking rates in northeastern Ontario than the rest of the province.”
Hello says when the possibility was found for proof of the test to be tested at pilot sites was the hospital in Sudbury.
The pilot program is intended to see how to best develop the steps of a lung cancer screening program in Ontario.
When the pilot was launched last year, Hey says there was more interest from potential participants than the program had the capacity to handle. This meant longer waiting times for patients.
She adds that the 201
8 program received additional capacity to accommodate more patients to receive low dose CT scans.
“We got increased capacity to double the number of low doses of CT spots. So now we just want to get the word out that we have more card slots and shorter waiting times,” says Hey.
Evidence found in the trial so far suggests that deaths in lung cancer can be reduced by 20 percent through early detection.
Hi, this is especially important because patients who come in with lung cancer often do not have long survival rates.
“Most lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage, where it is spreading to others body, “says Hey.
” That’s why we have very poor survival rates from lung cancer at the moment.
She adds the reasons behind screening is to find lung cancer earlier, then the patient can be treated.
Marcel Gravel participated in the pilot.
He says he was glad he did because of what the test could find. After referring to the pilot of his health care provider, the screening revealed nodules on his lungs.
“It was really a awakening for me.”
“We continued to take biopsies and check up to find out happily [the nodules were] goodbye. I was one of the lucky ones, says Gravel.
He comes from a large family smoker, most of whom say he has stopped now. Grus says he has lost a follower of lung cancer.
Gravel says there was always an afterthought about what could happen to him.
“If you have been smoking for a long time and you smoke as much as many of us did, there is always something behind you and there is always a possibility that something can come back to haunt you as you grow older,” says Gravel. 19659028] Marcel Gravel participated in the lung cancer screening pilot program at the health science north. The screening found benign nodules on his lungs through early detection. (Kirthana Sasitharan / CBC)
When the possibility became part of the pilot, says Gravel that it participated to help him realize if there were problems. He also adds that he did not know how the process was to detect lung cancer before joining the project.
“I have come to know that a CT- Scanning was far, far superior. Much faster, much more efficient, and the results are very stable. There was no guess anymore, he says.
“I think it’s a big big step forward”.
Participants who are interested in being a part of programs, and between 55 and 74 years of smoking history, may contact Health Science Nord.