Lung Cancer Screening for High-Risk Population Now Recommended Nationally, Patients Empowered by Option

Diana Mummert, 69, of Morrow, started smoking when she was 18 years old.

“I was in high school. My boyfriend wouldn’t stop smoking, so I started and kept it up for the next 50 years,” she recalls.

Like many people, Mummert attempted to quit smoking periodically throughout her adult life without long-term success. It took a scare—two suspicious nodules in her lungs in 2013—to give her the motivation to kick the habit for good.

The retired Cincinnati VA Medical Center nurse says she is thankful that her primary care doctor encouraged her to take advantage of a new lung screening program offered at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute.

“I want people to know they don’t have to die of lung cancer. I chose to get screened because I know I am at higher risk as a long-term smoker. If I end up with lung cancer, I want to find it early when it can still be treated.”

Screening is done with a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan—a non-invasive, 3-D imaging test that can be scheduled at various UC Health imaging centers across Greater Cincinnati. Mummert’s nodules are being monitored every three months through the lung cancer screening program.

She finds motivation to stay smoke-free from her family—especially her two young grandsons.

“My adult sons never picked up the smoking habit, and I don’t ever want my grandsons to. I can’t tell them not to smoke if I don’t lead by example,” she says. “It was hard to quit, but I feel better. My smoker’s cough is gone, my voice has recovered and I have more energy.”

National Lung Cancer Screening Standards
Mummert is one of more than 70 people from Greater Cincinnati who have enrolled in the lung cancer screening program since its launch in November 2012. The UC Cancer Institute Comprehensive Lung Cancer Center is the only team in Greater Cincinnati to offer a lung cancer screening under the guidance of a clinical protocol that capitalizes on input from the entire multidisciplinary lung cancer team to ensure the most accurate results for the patient.

People who have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 20 years and those with a prior lung cancer diagnosis are considered at increased risk for lung cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

In May 2013, the American College of Chest Surgeons began recommending low-dose CT scanning for lung cancer screening to people with a significant risk of lung cancer due to age and smoking history.

More Information & Appointments
To learn more about lung cancer screening, call registered nurse and dedicated lung cancer screening program coordinator Michelle Ottersbach at 513-584-LUNG (5864).

Media Contact

Dama Ewbank, 513-558-4519

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