Chattanooga-based CHI Memorial, along with the Rees Skillern Cancer Institute and Buz Standefer Lung Center, recently introduced a new, mobile way to screen for lung cancer. 'Breathe Easy' is a mobile health coach with a low-dose computed tomography (CT) machine on board. The technology, which is the first of its kind in the Chattanooga region and the only fully independent unit in the nation, was recently on display in Nashville.
"Lung cancer is curable if we can catch it early. This screening is the best way to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages," Rob Headrick, MD, thoracic surgeon, CHI Memorial Chest and Lung Cancer Center. "The Breathe Easy mobile coach allows us to take this important screening tool out into our communities and reach people who may not have access or the opportunity to get this scan otherwise."
A low-dose CT screening can identify signs of lung cancer in otherwise healthy people. The scan shows a 3-D image of the lungs that is clearer and more detailed than regular x-rays, allowing doctors to diagnose lung cancer at its earliest stage, before there are any symptoms. This is when lung cancer is most curable. The low-dose CT lung cancer scan has been shown to improve survival by 20 percent according to The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).