Hospital Checkups: Mercy Health wants smokers to take a good look at their lungs and kick the habit

CINCINNATI - The Tri-State is home to major hospitals engaged in a wide range of treatment, research and innovative activities. In our "Hospital Checkups" video series, WCPO asks each hospital to pick one thing it is doing new or differently in 2014.

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Mercy Health 

Smokers: Check the health of your lungs

Sure, it’s tough to quit, but people who smoke are taking a huge risk. 

According to the American Cancer Society , smoking accounts for at least 80 percent of lung cancer deaths, and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women.

Now, in a major initiative, Mercy Health has launched a lung cancer screening and pulmonary program that allows longtime smokers throughout the Cincinnati area to check the health of their lungs.

The sooner you diagnose lung cancer, the better your prognosis. Mercy Health Physician, David Dortin, DO, said “If you get it in a small nodule, without any evidence of spread to local lungs or lymph nodes, there’s a cure rate of about 20 percent.”

New guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that longtime, heavy smokers get annual low dose CT scans for early detection of lung cancer.

If you would like to get a lung screening, low-dose CT scan, Mercy Health recommends that you talk with your doctor: 

  1. Your physician can call Mercy Health at 95-MERCY (513-956-3729)
  2. The cost is approximately $99, which includes testing and interpretation by a radiologist
  3. You will find screening locations throughout Cincinnati, including Anderson Township, Clermont, Fairfield, Kenwood, Mason, and Winton Hills

Editor's note: On Friday, "Hospital Checkups" visits Cincinnati Children's and shows how a major new initiative called the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program helps identify which antibiotics are likely to be most effective in fighting bacteria. 

Video by Mark Bowen of Mark Bowen Media  and reporting by Gretchen MacKnight.

Watch the "Hospital Checkups" series

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