Lung Cancer

The Lung Cancer Screening Program is a collaborative effort by Princeton Radiology and Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center. The program is open to current and former smokers, age 50 to 80, with a smoking history of at least 20 pack years—that is, one pack per day for 20 years, two packs per day for 10 years, and so on.

The screening program uses computed tomography (CT) scans in an attempt to detect lung cancer at an early stage, when treatment can be more effective. Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death, behind heart disease. Most lung cancer patients with advanced staging of the disease carry a 5-year survival rate of less than 1 in 5 (20%). However, with CT Lung Screening, pulmonary nodules can be detected early, and the 5-year survival rate is increased significantly (85-100%).

CT Lung Screening is performed on a fast spiral CT scanner by a certified CT technologist. There is no special preparation for this exam. This procedure uses less radiation than a conventional CT scan and is performed without any injections, needles or removal of clothing (provided that there are no metal snaps or zippers in the chest area).

The CT scanner will take images of your lungs while you lie down on the imaging table and are asked to hold your breath for approximately 20 seconds at a time while images are taken. Your entire visit should last about 30 minutes.

Once the screening is complete, one of our Board Certified Radiologists will review your exam for pulmonary nodules. The CT Lung Screening allows excellent visualization of the lungs, exceeding the capabilities of chest X-ray. It can detect nodules as small as several millimeters in size.

A physician’s order is required for the scan, ensuring that the results and any necessary follow-up care are discussed with the patient’s physician and, if appropriate, a specialist who treats pulmonary nodules.

The scans are available at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center and Princeton Radiology locations in Princeton, Monroe, and Mercerville. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 609.497.4040.

New Jersey’s Best Practices in Mammography

New Report recognizes 15 statewide facilities as offering New Jersey’s best practices in mammography.

Oct. 29, 2010 – A new report conducted by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI) and AmeriHealth New Jersey evaluates the performance of 105 freestanding (non-hospital-affiliated) mammography centers across a range of criteria – and recognizes 15 facilities (representing 22 locations) as offering New Jersey’s best practices in mammography care.

Breast cancer screening rates for women 40 to 64 are significantly lower in New Jersey than the national average According to HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness and DATA and Information Set), in 2008, the percetage of women 40 to 64 receiving mammograms at least every other year was 68.74% among patients of HMO/POS practices and 64.6% for PPO practices; in New Jersey, the rates were 62.93% and 61.62%, respectively.

How mammography practices were assessed

In summer and fall 2009, AmeriHealth conducted site visits among the 105 freestanding mammography facilities that participated.

Site Assessment Tool:

Convenience

  • Conveinece of scheduling*
  • Time to schedule next routine appointment
  • Appointment availability on evenings or weekends
  • Wait times
  • Access – no need for a written prescription
  • Availability of DEXA (dual energy X-ray absortiometry, or DEXA scanning, which measures bone mineral density)

Privacy

  • Changing area*
  • Waiting rooms*
  • Comfort
  • Foam or cloth pads
  • Use of digital technology

Timeliness of Results

  • Exam notification*
  • Primary Care/GYN notification
  • Ease of scheduling follow up tests*
  • Time to schedule follow up tests*

Accuracy of Results

  • Methods in place to track*
  • Assessment category in database*
  • American College of Radiology Breast Center of Excellence recognition. (The Breast Imaging Center of Excelence designation is awarded to breast imaging centers that achieve excellence by seeking and earning accreditation in all of the ACR’s voluntary breast-imaging accreditation programs and modules, in addition to the mandatory Mammography Accreditation Program.)
  • Use of a system to assure quality/accuracy

Commitment to Ensure Regular Testing

  • Reminder system for routine exams
  • Follow up for abnormal exams*

*=required elements