The campaign, “Screen Together,” was created to encourage residents who meet criteria for annual screening – those between 55 and 74 years old and who are current or past smokers – to be screened for lung cancer together with a friend or a loved one.
“Our hope is to remove some of the fear and anxiety that can accompany the cancer screening process by encouraging people to take the pledge to get screened together with a partner, colleague, family member or friend,” Jennifer Garst, MD, board chair of LCI and professor in the Duke University Thoracic Oncology Program, said in a press release.
The campaign includes several awareness activities aimed at reaching at-risk individuals where they live, work and spend their free time, and inspire them to take control of their own health with the support of their personal network.
“Lung cancer is a treatable disease, provided it is caught early,” said Bonnie Anderson, Veracyte’s chairman and CEO. “We are proud to partner with LCI on this pilot campaign, which reflects our commitment to improving outcomes for patients at risk of lung cancer. If successful, we plan to extend the campaign’s reach to other regions of the country to encourage screening among everyone who meets the criteria, and have a broader impact in the fight against this deadly disease.”
Annual computed tomography (CT) screening is a tool used in lung cancer diagnosis, and is covered by Medicare and by most private insurance companies. Early detection of lung cancer can reduce the number of deaths dramatically.
It is estimated there are 8.6 million Americans who are at increased risk of lung cancer, according to Veracyte.
“We see a tremendous opportunity to help improve care for people at high risk of lung cancer – both as part of screening and ultimately at other points in the lung cancer continuum,” Anderson said.
“This includes our Percepta Bronchial Genomic Classifier, which helps reduce unnecessary diagnostic surgeries when suspicious nodules are found on CT scans. We also envision someday taking the same genomic technology upon which the Percepta test is based and through a simple nasal swab, determine a patient’s risk of lung cancer. The opportunities to have an impact in alleviating the suffering from lung cancer are tremendous and we are excited about what the future holds.” Anderson concluded.