Program helps patients fight common, complex cancer

The Cancer Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) was recently recognized by the Lung Cancer Alliance as a Center of Excellence for their lung screening program. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths and the second leading cause of all deaths in the United States.

Lung cancer is particularly complex. It’s easier to treat when found in its early stages.  However, it may take years for the cancer to grow and for symptoms to appear. When patients start to notice symptoms at approximately stage three or four, the cancer is frequently advanced.

The Lung Cancer Alliance recommends to patients that they be screened at facilities with experience that follow best practices. The national designation requires facilities to meet certain criteria and indicates that these programs follow best practice screening, follow-up and treatment guidelines.

GMC’s screening program involves the collective effort of a multidisciplinary team of radiologists, pathologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists and nurses needed to carry out the process of screening and diagnosis. Through this, they guide and follow patients over time through all levels of treatment. In addition, the program:

  • Refers those patients who still smoke to an evidence-based tobacco cessation program, and;
  • Expeditiously provides results of the screening scans to the patient or referring physician.

GMC is committed to providing a high quality screening program that provides clear information on the risks and benefits of computed tomography (CT) screening and complies with standards based on the most up-to-date best published practices for managing screening quality, radiation dose and diagnostic procedures. CT scans are low-dose, meaning patients will receive less radiation exposure.

“As of May 2014, there are 172 programs, including GMC, that are recognized as providing our high-risk population with state of the art detection of some of the most common and complex cancers,” said Katie Michaud, director of GMC’s oncology services.

GMC has six CT locations that are designated as centers of excellence. These facilities are 575 Outpatient Imaging Center, Lawrenceville; 631 Imaging Center, Lawrenceville; Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville; Gwinnett Medical Center Imaging Center-Hamilton Mill, Dacula; Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth; Outpatient Center at Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth. For more information, contact Nancy McCormick, RN, BSN, Thoracic Nurse Navigator at 678-312-3189.

About Gwinnett Medical Center

Gwinnett Medical Center is a nationally-recognized, not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth. Offering cardiovascular, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services, GMC’s 4,800 associates and 800 affiliated physicians serve more than 400,000 patients annually. To learn more about how GMC is transforming healthcare, visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org or follow us at facebook.com/gwinnettmedical, twitter.com/gwinnettmedical or youtube.com/gwinnettmedical.



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