Photo credit: ACR
November 8, 2022 — The American College of Radiology (ACR) is urging screening centers across the country to “open doors, extend access” with participation in National Lung Cancer Screening Day on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. The nationwide event, organized by the American College of Radiology (ACR), American Cancer Society, National Lung Cancer Roundtable (NLCRT), Go2 Foundation and the Radiology Health Equity Coalition (RHEC), is intended to increase accessibility to screenings by opening doors to individuals without having to take a day off work.
“Many more people are eligible for lung cancer screening than are receiving this lifesaving healthcare,” said Ella Kazerooni, MD, MS, FACR, FSABI, Chair of the NLCRT in an ACR news release. She added, “The first National Lung Cancer Screening Day is a great way to increase awareness about lung cancer screening in all of our communities to increase the screening rate.”
The American Cancer Society predicts 130,180 lung cancer deaths in 2022. Wider screening could save 30,000–60,000 lives in the United States each year. Radiology screening centers are encouraged to join the effort and receive free marketing and instructional materials, available online at the ACR website.
Enhancing Accessibility to Lung Cancer Screening
Lifesaving lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LCS) has a low rate of adoption (ca. 10%) among eligible individuals compared to mammography (ca. 80%) and colorectal cancer screening (ca. 80%), in part due to lack of awareness by referring providers and patients. 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.
The ACR offers a Lung Cancer Screening Locator, and is helping to promote the range of related information available, including resources from the American Lung Association (ALA) “Saved by the Scan” initiative. The American Lung Association is expected to release its “State of Lung Cancer” Special Report 2022 during November, which annually marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Partnerships Promote Progress on Screenings
Collaboration is essential to progress on this initiative. As noted in the multi-part series on Lung Cancer Screening Initiatives presented by Imaging Technology News/ITN (see links below), an impressive and devoted range of organizations and individuals are working together to advance screenings and save lives. One of those is the National Lung Cancer Roundtable (NLCRT). Creating lung cancer survivors is the mission of the NLCRT, which was established by the American Cancer Society in 2017. As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, and in partnership with the multiple organizations involved in this comprehensive campaign, NLCRT is promoting this life-saving event to screen more individuals and raise awareness about lung cancer screening. President Biden's Cancer Panel recommends lung cancer screening as the single most effective strategy for reducing mortality from the disease and closing the gap in health equity. To achieve this goal, the President’s Cancer Panel has charged individuals, health systems, and communities with communicating and promoting lung cancer screening.
For its part, the NLCRT is also sharing information to generate interest and involvement in this first-ever National Lung Cancer Screening Day. It notes that opening doors that day will allow individuals who cannot take time off from work to be screened, increasing the accessibility of lung cancer screening overall. In doing so, screening centers are not only extending screening opportunities to those who may be unaware of this effective, lifesaving screening option, they are also increasing awareness of lung cancer screening within their community.
Those interested in more information, or wanting to participate in National Lung Cancer Screening Day, can sign up through the American College of Radiology (ACR) to receive a range of complementary marketing and instructional materials upon registration. Those materials include:
- Promotional Videos for patients and providers featuring Dr. John Williams, Chair of the President’s Cancer Panel
- Promotional flyers for patients, available in English and Spanish
- Logistics Guide for opening a screening center on a Saturday
- Patient-centered marketing email template
- Sample press release for facilities to engage their local news platforms
- An order form for lung & white ribbon lapel pins
For more information, go to sign up here to support LCS Screening Day.