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Good Samaritan Hospital's New Low Cost Lung Cancer Screening Program Catches Deadly Disease at Early Stage

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an effort to improve the overall health of the Silicon Valley community, Good Samaritan Hospital recently launched a new, leading edge Lung Cancer Screening Program that can detect the deadly cancer at an early stage even before symptoms appear. The low cost and low dose computed tomography (CT) scan screening uses the latest diagnostic imaging technology, and is being offered for only $200.

Today, lung cancer is the single leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and kills nearly 160,000 people each year, largely because the disease shows no symptoms until it has progressed to advanced stages. A lung cancer screening can significantly improve a patient's chances of survival.

"Historically, three quarters of patients present in late stages where we can't do anything in terms of curative treatment," said Dr. Steven Schwartz, cardiothoracic surgeon and Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Good Samaritan Hospital. "Through these screenings, we can change that number to now have three quarters of patients show up for treatment in stage 1 or stage 2, when the disease is very treatable and survival rates are up to 60 to 80 percent. The screenings will have a huge impact."

Patients at high risk for lung cancer are encouraged to schedule the exam, which takes just minutes to painlessly scan for nodules or masses growing in the chest. Those aged between 55 and 74 years old who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 30 years (or equivalent), and who have no prior cancer diagnoses within the past five years should discuss CT screening for lung cancer with their primary care doctor to obtain a referral.

Good Samaritan Hospital's new CT technology is just one part of its comprehensive Lung Cancer Program, which combines board certified pulmonologists, radiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and oncologists who work with each patient to create individual care plans. The hospital recognized the need for a Lung Cancer Screening Program to address demand in the Silicon Valley community, as published trials had shown the success of early screenings in 2013 and as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed last year to cover lung cancer screenings for up to 9 million Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare coverage rules are expected to be issued this February.

"Lung cancer screenings save lives, which is why we spent a year developing this program to offer the newest evaluation techniques with the safest, low dose scanners in the area while also minimizing radiation exposure," said Dr. Elwyn Cabebe, Director of Medical Oncology at Good Samaritan Hospital. "Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to the health of our patients and our employees, and this new program is a first step to a better life and better health."

STOP SMOKING IN 2015 WITH CLASSES AT GOOD SAMARITAN

The start of a new year also means that many in the Silicon Valley community are trying to fulfill their resolution to quit their smoking habit successfully. Good Samaritan Hospital, in conjunction with Breathe California, offers those resources for everyone through an on-site smoking cessation program. Called the "Ash Kickers Quit Smoking Program," the six-part class provides resources and strategies for quitting and sticking with it in a supportive group atmosphere.

The $100 program begins January 14 at the Mission Oaks campus, and takes place each Wednesday night from 6 to 7 p.m. through February 11, with an additional meeting on Friday, January 30.

For more information about Good Samaritan's Lung Cancer Program, call (408) 358-LUNG (5864).

For more information about the "Ash Kickers" class, call Breathe California at (408) 998-5865 or email info@lungsrus.org.

About Good Samaritan Hospital

Good Samaritan Hospital is a 474 bed acute care hospital in the heart of Silicon Valley, with two locations, the main campus in San Jose, California and the Mission Oaks campus in Los Gatos, California. Recognized nationally for quality and safety, it has an "A" from The Leapfrog Group and has been voted a "Family Favorite" hospital for more than ten years. It is one of only ten hospitals nationwide to be awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer four consecutive times. Good Samaritan is a leader in neurosciences, high-risk obstetrics, advanced cardiology and innovative surgery techniques, and is a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center and an accredited Chest Pain Center. Good Samaritan has been delivering elite level care with compassion since 1965. For more information visit, www.goodsamsanjose.com.

CONTACT: Media Contacts: Jill Kipnis jill@amfmediagroup.com 925-790-2635

Source:Good Samaritan Hospital