Friday, November 18, 2016

The best method of preventing lung cancer is tobacco cessation. Smoking is believed to cause 80% of the lives lost to lung cancer. The Great American Smoke-out is a perfect time to make the potentially life-saving step and stop utilizing tobacco products. The annual Great American Smoke out is celebrated on the 3rd Thursday each November. The first event was held on November 16, 1977 in San Francisco with the hope that people would stop smoking for 24 hours and then eventually quit. According to the American Cancer Society, there has been a reduction in cigarette smoking since the 1960s. However, cigars, pipes and hookah, all of which are dangerous and addictive, have seen a large increase in utilization. E-cigarettes are also on the rise. This year, The Great American Smoke-Out will be held on November 17th.

Tobacco products are an addiction that is very hard to quit. Norman Regional has a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist who can provide you with the tools necessary to help you. Ready to try? We are here for you. For information about our Quit Smart class, please call (405) 307-3175.

Another resource available to assist you is the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. Primarily funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, or TSET, this hotline is a toll-free support line with an enhanced selection of services. You can receive free text and email support, phone and web coaching, patches, gum, lozenges and more. Please call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com to register and receive nonjudgmental support from specially trained Quit Coaches who can help provide services tailored just for you.

Norman Regional Health System offers a low dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer. This non-invasive and painless test (Computed Tomography) is taken of the chest area. This low dose scan provides detailed x-rays, reviewed by radiologists, who can detect early stage lung cancers that may not show up on traditional x-ray methods. A patient is notified of any abnormalities by a specialized nurse navigator who will help the patient determine their next steps. Patients will receive a letter when the findings are normal. This screening can be used as a baseline or a point of reference for any future tests that may be needed.

The cost is only $79 and does not require a referral from a physician. Insurance will not be billed.

This screening is recommended for the following people.

  • Between the ages of 55 to 74
  • Have smoked more than a pack a day for 30 years
  • Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Have been exposed to second-hand smoke for an extended period of time
  • Had or have a job with exposure to radon, asbestos or diesel exhaust

You can check with your insurance company to see if this is a covered test. If you are using your own insurance to pay for the test, please make sure to follow the necessary steps as required by your insurance company in order for the test to be covered and to avoid being billed anything above your copay or deductible and coinsurance.

The lung cancer screenings are performed at all three of Norman Regional Health System campuses: Norman Regional Hospital on Porter Avenue, Norman Regional HealthPlex on Tecumseh Road and Norman Regional Moore on Telephone Road. The test takes about 15 minutes. Patients can call (405) 307-2290 to schedule their screening today. Norman Regional's comprehensive lung services also include board-certified pulmonologists and interventional pulmonologists. If you have a finding on a lung cancer screening, our team is available to provide follow-up care and treatment including biopsies.

There is not time like the presence! Take that important life-saving step of turning your back on tobacco products. Norman Regional Health System is here for you with the resources and support you need to be successful.