Published on October 01, 2020

Lung Cancer Advances

Cathy Jenkins RN III, BSN, CCRP

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men and women in the United States. More people die annually of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be about 228,820 new cases of lung cancer and 135,720 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2020.

Cathy Jenkins

Cathy Jenkins RN III, BSN, CCRP

Lung, Head & Neck Nurse Navigator

Symptoms of lung cancer typically do not appear until the disease is already in an advanced stage. Early detection leads to better treatment results. People between the ages of 55 and 77 years old, who currently smoke, have smoked in the past 15 years, or smoked a pack of cigarettes for at least 30 years, should discuss a lung cancer screening with their doctor. The screening uses a low dose spiral CT scan to detect lung cancer at an early stage.

The NFL has provided funds for the American Cancer Society to increase lung cancer screening awareness and tobacco cessation activities. Pardee is one of two community health-screening partners for the American Cancer Society NFL Change Grant Lung Cancer Screening. In collaboration of with Blue Ridge Health Center, grant monies will provide lung cancer screening and smoking cessation resources for uninsured patients, who are at high risk for lung cancer.

In addition to offering low dose lung cancer screenings, Pardee’s pulmonary nodule program reviews incidental pulmonary nodules identified on CT scans. Most pulmonary nodules are not cancerous but are the result of old infections, scar tissue, or other causes. Primary care physicians receive recommendations for pulmonary nodules requiring close monitoring. Radiologic surveillance can lead to early diagnosis of lung cancer.

The complexities of the health care system can be overwhelming for the newly diagnosed lung cancer patient. As a nurse navigator, I provide education and resources to facilitate informed decision making and timely access to quality health and psychosocial care throughout all phases of the cancer continuum. Serving as a point of contact for patients and their families, the nurse navigator provides patient centered care to ensure a sense of hope, healing and security.

Read more about in Pardee's Cancer Annual Report at

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