One of the great killers of our time could become more treatable, even curable, as a result of an innovative screening program that will begin in early June at Tuality Healthcare in Hillsboro.

The program uses a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer, rather than the traditional chest X-ray. Lung cancer is by far the deadliest form of cancer, with lung cancer deaths exceeding the next four types of cancer combined.

The screening program, under the guidance of Tuality pulmonologists Peter Hahn and Srinivas Mummadi, will be the first offered in the Portland metropolitan area.

“The holy grail of lung cancer is to find a way to screen people to find the cancer early enough that we can effectively treat it,” said Dr. Hahn, who serves as medical director of critical care and sleep medicine at Tuality. “Currently, lung cancer is usually diagnosed at advanced stages, leading to poor survival rates.”

Low-dose CT scan screening can result in more Stage I and Stage II lung cancer diagnoses, rather than the more deadly Stage III and Stage IV diagnoses.

“With Stage I, you have a survival rate of close to 90 percent at 10 years,” Hahn said. “We want to catch lung cancer and cure it. That’s the goal.”

Tuality Healthcare’s program will be open to the public beginning June 6.

Tuality’s lung cancer screening program is open to anyone 55 to 74 years old who have smoked for at least 30 years. Current smokers as well as those who quit in the last 15 years are eligible.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 503-681-4139.

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