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Albany Med Today

Life-Saving Lung Cancer Screening Lauded

Albany Medical Center has been named as a Center for Lung Cancer Screening Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance for its distinction in screening, diagnosing and treating high-risk individuals.

Albany Med is one of only seven institutions in New York state to have received this designation for its work in fighting a disease that claims more lives in the United States than any other type of cancer.

Each year, 160,000 people in the United States die of lung cancer. Only 15 percent of people diagnosed with the disease will survive it — primarily because the vast majority of lung cancers are diagnosed at a late stage.

“Lung cancer screening dramatically changes the stage at which we find these tumors,” said Thomas Fabian, MD, chief of the Section of Thoracic Surgery and director of the Multi-Specialty Lung Cancer Program. “Instead of identifying 80 percent of lung cancer patients in advanced stages, we can identify nearly 80 percent of lung cancers at earlier stages when they can be treated surgically.”

Dr. Fabian said that Albany Med uses low-dose screening CT scans to minimize the effects of radiation exposure, and that suspected cancers are evaluated by multiple specialists to provide patients with as many treatment options as possible.

The designation is the latest in a string of honors for Albany Med, which was also recently singled out for its respiratory care and Epilepsy and Human Brain Mapping Program, among other initiatives.