The American Cancer Society National Lung Cancer Roundtable (ACS NLCRT), the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Radiology Health Equity Coalition (RHEC), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Go2 are joining forces for Lung Cancer for the second annual National Lung Cancer Screening Day, scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2023, to allow individuals who are unable to take time off from work to access screening. Photo courtesy: Getty Images
September 14, 2023 — As part of a nationwide action initiative, screening centers nationwide are being asked to open their doors on Saturday, November 11, 2023, to allow individuals who are unable to take time off from work to access screening.
The American Cancer Society National Lung Cancer Roundtable (ACS NLCRT), the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Radiology Health Equity Coalition (RHEC), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Go2 for Lung Cancer are joining forces for Lung Cancer for the second annual National Lung Cancer Screening Day.
In participating in National Lung Cancer Screening Day, participants will extend screening opportunities and increase awareness of this lifesaving preventive screening option. According to the ACR, National Lung Cancer Screening Day has the support of President Biden's Cancer Panel, which convened on Sept. 7. The Panel has charged screening centers, hospital systems, clinicians, public health professionals, cancer coalitions, and patient advocates to come together as a community to promote and communicate the value of lung cancer screening during Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Kim Sandler, MD, Co-Chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Cancer Screening 2.0 Committee and Member of the ACR Lung-RADS Steering Committee, contributed to an article published online by the ACR promoting National Lung Cancer Screening (LCS) Day, which is summarized below. Sandler is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.
Lung cancer screening saves lives through the early detection of disease. Often, these patients are eligible for curative resection, with significant improvement in both morbidity and mortality when compared to late-stage diagnosis. However, disparities remain in enrollment and adherence to annual screening for lung cancer, particularly in rural communities and minority groups, the event feature noted.
“Stepping outside of our typical busy weeks also allows us time to celebrate our screening programs and the patients, clinicians, navigators, technologists and staff who have partnered with us to increase the number of lung cancer survivors,” Sandler wrote. “As LCS Day falls concurrently on the Veterans Day holiday, the team is also partnering with the Veterans Administration to increase outreach and awareness to our veteran population. The Vanderbilt Lung Screening Program team is very much looking forward to participating in LCS Day,” she added.Sandler.
She summarized the experience of she and her team, writing, in part: “Last year, we participated in the inaugural event unsure of exactly what to expect. The day was extremely successful, both because of the number of people who were able to be screened and for the experience that we were able to provide. What we heard from our patients was gratitude — gratitude for providing lung screening and specifically for making the opportunity available on Saturday. Many of our Screening Day participants were dependent on friends or family members for transportation and struggled to coordinate travel during the week. They also could not take time away from work to undergo screening. We provided a light breakfast and screening program giveaways to express our appreciation for enrolling in our program. We were able to take more time to talk to people about the clinical lung screening program and about research studies to improve the early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer. Many expressed an interest in research and were eager to learn more about the opportunities at our institution and in partnership with other programs across the country. The patients felt appreciated, and we were honored to be able to provide this lifesaving exam.”
The ACS National Lung Cancer Roundtable promotes enhanced accessibility to lung cancer screening year-round with events, conferences and initiatives. It notes that National LCS Day is meant to serve as a catalyst for screening in general. Rather than waiting until November to work lung screening into their routine, patients and clinicians alike are encouraged to make screening a year-round priority to create more lung cancer survivors.
According to the ACS/NLCR: Ten years have passed since the USPSTF first recommended low-dose CT for lung cancer screening, yet lung cancer screening rates remain low, with less than 1 in 10 eligible individuals having undergone CT screening. This is a striking contrast to more established screening tests for other cancers, including screening mammography (ca. 80%) and Colorectal Cancer Screening (ca. 70%).
Access to and utilization of LCS has been particularly challenging for rural and racial/ethnic minority groups, who are more likely to live more than 30 minutes away from a designated LCS center, be underinsured, and have lower health literacy levels. Inadequate access to care and low utilization rates for LCS present an opportunity for patient and caregiver advocates, community health organizations, medical professionals, cancer centers, health systems, payers, and industry partners to work together to promote health equity, reduce healthcare disparities, and enhance accessibility to lifesaving and effective lung cancer screening.
Individuals looking to participate in National Lung Cancer Screening Day can register here.
For more information: www.NLCRT.org