Dr. Costas performs robotic-assisted lung surgery at Providence Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, North Everett. Call 844-587-0089 to schedule a lung cancer screening or visit providence.org/nwlungscreen.

Dr. Costas performs robotic-assisted lung surgery at Providence Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, North Everett. Call 844-587-0089 to schedule a lung cancer screening or visit providence.org/nwlungscreen.

Lung screening (and robots) bring life-saving effects to Puget Sound

Lung cancer screening is now covered by most insurance providers for high-risk 50 to 80-year-olds

Mammograms and colonoscopies have become routine cancer screenings for most Americans over a certain age, but the cancer that kills the most people — more than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined — still goes largely undetected.

“Most lung cancers don’t cause symptoms until they’re very advanced. Symptoms like unwanted weight loss, chest wall pain or coughing up blood can indicate that the cancer has advanced to Stage Four, when it’s much more difficult to treat,” says Kim Costas, MD, thoracic surgeon at Providence Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, North Everett.

That’s why Dr. Costas hopes more people will embrace screening, to catch lung cancer sooner. And thanks to a wealth of research over the last decade, screening is now affordable and accessible to more people than ever before.

Who should get screened for lung cancer?

While lung cancer does occur in non-smoking adults, smokers who have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years (also known as a 20 pack-year history) are considered high risk.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual screening for adults aged 50-80 with a 20 pack-year history who currently smoke or have quit within 15 years. Because of that recommendation, screening is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare.

“This screening is incredibly effective, and life-saving. A recent study shows that we find breast cancer in 1 of every 800 mammograms; we find lung cancer in 1 of every 320 screenings,” Dr. Costas says.

How do you screen for lung cancer?

At Providence, patients are screened for lung cancer using a low-dose CT scan, which uses 75 percent less radiation than a standard CT scan.

“If the CT scan reveals any spots or nodules on the lungs, at Providence we use the lung-RADS algorithm to assess risk: if you have a nodule of certain size, growing at a specific rate, the algorithm tells us the percentage-risk that it’s malignant. That helps reduce anxiety, because we’re able to give patients more information about their cancer risk,” Dr. Costas says.

If there are nodules or spots of concern, your doctor may schedule a biopsy.

Robotic-assisted lung cancer surgery reduces pain and improves recovery

Removing cancerous nodules on the lungs using open surgery is invasive and painful: surgeons have to divide the muscles on the chest wall and spread, remove or break ribs to access the affected area. In addition to being painful, it also increases the risk of problematic inflammation, infection and breathing issues.

Dr. Costas and her colleagues at Providence use the da Vinci robot to perform robotic assisted surgeries, which are dramatically less invasive. The incisions are much smaller, because the fine-tipped robotic instruments can fit between the ribs without spreading them, and the robotic camera offers surgeons great vision.

“I can actually see better using the robot than I do when performing an open surgery,” Dr. Costas says.

Recovery is faster, and it’s more compatible with radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Help quitting smoking

Your best defense against lung cancer is quitting smoking.

“It often takes seven or eight tries to quit smoking, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your doctor can help,” Dr. Costas says.

Call 844-587-0089 to schedule a lung cancer screening or visit providence.org/nwlungscreen.

statistics

screening

treatment

prevention

Talk to us

The news and editorial staff of Sound Publishing, Inc. had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

Sound Publishing, Inc. does not accept liability for any loss or damages caused by the use of any products, nor do we endorse any products posted in our Marketplace.

More in Local Marketplace

Providence Sports Medicine offers breakthrough, customized treatment plans to help people of all abilities prepare for sports, avoid injuries, and improve performance by using the newest technology in sports medicine.
Everett sports medicine doctor says, ‘Don’t wait until the pain is unbearable’

Dr. Andrew Gomez, a lead physician at the popular Providence Sports Medicine… Continue reading

Supportive team leaders are a key part of life at HopeWorks - photo curtesy of HopeWorks
Finding that perfect gift, while supporting the Everett community has never been easier!

HopeWorks has an easy holiday solution for everyone on your list!

Operation Military Family
Combatting Loneliness: Why Staying Connected is Vital to Your Health

Staying connected – and in relationships – could be the cure for health and stress issues

Arlington’s Hometown Holiday Festival has a wide variety of family-friendly events and attractions happening over the next few months.
Hometown Holiday Festival: celebrate the season in downtown Arlington

Celebration starts Nov. 26 with festivities throughout the season

One of the benefits of senior living at a community like Quail Park is the opportunity to enjoy activities you’re already passionate about, and to discover new ones with others who share your interests. Photo courtesy Quail Park of Lynnwood.
Building family in retirement, one friendship at a time

What are you thankful for this holiday season? As we welcome the… Continue reading

The City of Everett’s Wintertide events get underway this week and continue through early January.
Wintertide sets Everett a-twinkle with 6 weeks of seasonal celebrations

Some of Everett’s favorite holiday events are back in a big way… Continue reading

jireh
Need help with snow removal? Christmas lights? This Snohomish & King County team was made for winter!

As temperatures drop, the potential for snowfall here in the Pacific Northwest… Continue reading

At Wide Shoes Only their friendly, expert staff can help you find the perfect shoes for the comfort and health of your feet.
How to choose shoes to keep your feet healthy and happy!

These shoe-fitting experts in Edmonds and Renton really know their stuff

While parents often put aside their own concerns as they focus on the family, we do a better job at parenting with better mental health.
Mental health is a family affair: Support your family’s wellness – and your own

The last few years have been a challenge for everyone, especially parents… Continue reading

Well-child visits are also a good time to ensure children are up to date with all their vaccines and boosters.
A safe, happy holiday season begins now. Here’s why

Vaccines + boosters are key to keeping loved ones healthy this season

Renee Naidu, Deposit Operations Director at Peoples Bank
5 strategies to avoid being the victim of fraud

From phishing scams to check fraud, here’s what to watch for – and how to keep your money safe

Wide Shoes Only store owner Dominic Ahn offers more than 600 styles of shoes for people with wide feet. His parents started the first store 42 years ago. The stores are in Edmonds and Renton. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Local shoe store owner knows his business – like riding a bike!

You’ll find Wide Shoes Only at these Renton and Edmonds shoe shops