The Trumbull Regional Medical Center is using a new screening program that may help detect early cases of lung cancer. 

Between 2011 and 2015, there were over 230 cases of lung cancer diagnosed in Trumbull County, officially catapulting Trumbull into the list of the top ten worst counties in the state for lung cancer. 

The Lung Cancer Screening Program at Trumbull Regional uses a low-dose CT scanner that produces high-quality images of the chest, allowing physicians to find irregularities in the lungs that an x-ray can't.

Shelly Lamb, the Operations Manager of Medical Imaging at Trumbull Regional Medical Center, said the program is a way to help guide patients through the entire process. 

"So the lung nodule clinic actually is all-inclusive. We offer support for patients all the way through from talking to their physician, to scheduling, through the actual diagnostic test, through the diagnosis into follow up care if they should need to follow up with our lung nodule clinic," Lamb explained. 

"We have a certified lung navigator. She'll hold your hand. She will go through the process with you from A to Z through like I said, making the appointment to if you needed some type of major surgery or some type of follow up care," Lamb said.

The 15-minute noninvasive test will take pictures of the patients entire chest, while the new technology provides detailed three-dimensional images of the lungs. This CT scan can also provide precise information about the size, shape, and position of any lung tumors. 

"Since the scan is only minutes long, we can use a faster scan, because we scan from the top of the lung bases through to the bottom. It's a faster scan type to reduce the amount of radiation," Lamb explained. 

According to the Trumbull Regional Medical Center, when this operation is performed, early physicians have a higher chance of detecting tumors at the beginning stages when the cancer is more treatable. 

"Our Lung Cancer Screening Program goes far beyond just a test," said Kathy Martin, Lung Navigator at Trumbull Regional. "We have an all-inclusive program that supports our patients from the initial conversation all the way through diagnosis and follow-up. When detected early, there is an opportunity for intervention and treatment that can be lifesaving."

To qualify for the lung screening clinic patients must be ages 55-77 and have a 30-year history of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, or a twenty-year history of smoking two packs a day. 

Patients who have quit smoking within the last five year also qualify. 

Anyone who may be interested in being scanned should talk to their primary care physician to see if they fit the requirements. 

"The earlier the intervention, the better," Lamb said.