From the community

Collaboration leads to comprehensive lung cancer screening

Posted May 22, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine – A Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program using low-dose computed tomography for eligible patients is now available in Maine.

The new program is offered through a unique collaboration between Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute and three specialty physician practices: Chest Medicine Associates, Maine Center for Cancer Medicine, and Spectrum Medical Group. The practices are all members of Specialty Solutions, an association of 11 independent physician practices working together to improve the coordination and quality of care, optimize operational efficiency, cultivate partnerships, and reduce costs.

CMA will serve as the hub of the program, providing the initial point of contact for patients referred for screening services and coordinating all follow up care with other providers.

“The most common form of lung cancer can often be cured if it is found early enough,” said Dr. Mayuko Fukunaga, a pulmonologist with CMA, in a press release. “This partnership will lead to the increase in early detection in Maine, where lung cancer and associated deaths exceed the national average.”

The program design is based on the work of an MMC multidisciplinary task force that includes representatives from pulmonary medicine, thoracic oncology surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, primary care physicians, and related staff members.

As with any medical test or procedure, patients should talk with their primary care provider to see if the lung cancer screening test is right for them. The Maine Comprehensive s Lung Cancer Screening Program will provide patients with appropriate counseling to help them understand the potential benefits, harms, and uncertainties related to low-dose CT scans, and to make decisions based on their own personal values and preferences.

For more information about the lung cancer screening program, contact Chris Snow at 828-1122 or csnow@cmamaine.com or visit: mmc.org/lungcancerscreening.

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