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NL Health Services Launches Lung Screening Pilot Project

News ReleasesProvincial
Posted: June 3, 2024

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services is pleased to announce the official launch of the NL Lung Screening Pilot which offers lung screening to eligible individuals, aged 55-74 years, at sites in St. John’s and Grand Falls-Windsor. The pilot project also offers smoking cessation referral, education and support.

“Lung cancer is the largest cause of cancer deaths in Canada, and smoking is the major cause of lung cancer,” said Dr. Jonathan Greenland, radiation oncologist at NL Health Services and co-chair of the lung cancer screening pilot. “Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scanning has been proven to reduce the risk of death from lung cancer by detecting the cancer at an early stage. It is even more effective when smoking cessation support is offered. The NL Lung Screening Pilot will help us build a high-quality lung cancer screening/smoking cessation program that we can use to reduce the burden of lung cancer in our province.”

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria (55 to 74 years of age; currently smoking or have smoked in the past; and have a smoking history of 20 years or more) can be referred by their health-care provider, or can self-refer by calling 1-833-752-4964.

Once eligible individuals are referred to the program, current or recent smokers are offered smoking cessation support including smoking cessation medications and an initial risk assessment, which is completed by a registered nurse lung screening navigator. The risk assessment will determine whether individuals should receive the screening test (low-dose lung CT scan). Depending on the result of the screening test, patients may be referred for additional testing or treatment, as needed.

The screening tests take place at health-care facilities in St. John’s and Grand Falls-Windsor. The pilot currently focuses on eligible individuals in the Eastern Avalon Peninsula portion of NL Health Services’ Eastern Zones and the Western portion of NL Health Services’ Central Zone who would be referred to these health-care facilities for testing.

The NL Lung Screening Pilot includes a team approach from different program areas of NL Health Services, health-care providers and health-care organizations/partners. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer provided funding for the pilot project.

“The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) congratulates Newfoundland and Labrador on the launch of the lung cancer screening pilot,” said Dr. Craig Earle, CEO of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. “Screening people who are at high risk of developing lung cancer and promoting smoking cessation therapy will help detect the disease early and save lives. Lung cancer screening is a priority initiative in the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control and the Partnership will continue to work with partners to ensure equitable access to cancer prevention and care and to improve outcomes for all people in Canada.”

The NL Lung Screening Pilot initially launched on March 11, 2024, and will run until March 31, 2025. As of May 29, 2024, over 170 individuals were referred to the pilot project. For more information, please visit the NL Lung Screening Pilot webpage. NL Health Services’ Cancer Care Program also offers cancer screening programs for breast, cervical and colon cancer. To learn more about these programs, please visit the Prevention and Screening webpage.

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About NL Health Services

Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services (NL Health Services) brings together five former separate health entities – Eastern Health, Central Health, Western Health, Labrador-Grenfell Health, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information. The creation of a provincial health authority was announced following recommendations from Health Accord NL.

NL Health Services is responsible for delivering health and community services to more than 528,000 people living in Newfoundland and Labrador and employs over 22,000 people. NLHealthServices.ca

 

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