PRESS RELEASE: RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL CANCER CENTER LAUNCHES COMMUNITY LUNG SCREENING PROGRAM (7.27.20)

Monday, July 27, 2020, RIDGECREST, Calif. - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital’s (RRH) Cancer Center has announced that it is now offering low dose computed-tomgraphy (CT) scans in an effort to detect earlier onset lung cancer cases for the community’s high-risk, current and ex-smokers. The hospital plans to launch the new lung cancer screening program with a month long awareness campaign starting August 1 on World Lung Cancer Day.

“By screening you can detect cancer early and diagnose at an early stage, said RRH Cancer Center Oncologist Mukund Shah, MD. “Having this screening available will improve survival rates. A low dose CT scan is used, which does not give as much radiation as a regular CT scan. Ultimately we will be improving the care for our community, which is always a central goal for our Cancer Center.”

Cancer Center Clinical Manager Shantell Utley, MSN, CNML, RN, added, “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the United States. Early detection is key to increasing the survival rates for lung cancer. By increasing our screening in the high risk population it can drastically improve survival rates. By finding the cancer in its earlier stages, with the use of Low Dose CT Screening, there is a higher likelihood of it being curable, thus improving the overall care that the Cancer Center can provide for our community.”

The annual screenings are covered by most major insurance plans, including Medicare, if patients meet the following criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 55 to 77
  • Have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years
  • Fit the profile above and currently smoke or have quit with the last 15 years
  • Have no symptoms or history of lung cancer

Full-time medical oncology care and support at RRH currently includes: biopsy, chemotherapy infusions, biotherapy, on-site laboratory testing, chemotherapy medications, diagnosis and prognosis and post-chemo care and support. For more information call the RRH Cancer Center on: (760) 499 3360 or visit rrh.org/cancercenter.