Lung Cancer Early Detection Consultation

The incidence and mortality of lung cancer reaches very high figures in our environment. According to data published by the European Respiratory Society, this type of cancer is the cause of over 260,000 deaths a year in the European Union. Added to these results are the conclusions of the latest study by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology, which show that this tumor is the most deadly among both men and women in Spain.

Responding to this worrying reality, MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid has set up the Lung Cancer Early Detection Consultation.

The aim is to assess the risk of the disease developing and detect it in its initial stages, when treatment can cure up to 80% of patients.

The Lung Cancer Early Detection Consultation includes a rapid, overall check coordinated by an experienced multidisciplinary team of specialists. The consultation is complemented with the Tobacco Withdrawal Support Program, as it has been demonstrated that lung cancer is directly linked to smoking.

In accordance with criteria established by European Guidelines, patients that must be particularly alert and attend a Lung Cancer Early Detection Consultation are identified as:

  •    Active smokers or former smokers who have stopped smoking in the last 15 years.
  •    Those aged between 55 and 80 years of age.
  •    Those with a smoking history of at least 1 packet a day over 30 years or 2 packets a day over 15 years.

The first step in the integral detection process consists of a consultation with the Pulmonology Service, where a full pulmonary evaluation is carried out and includes:

  •    A study of the patient’s medical history.
  •    Respiratory function tests to detect, apart from cancer, other smoking related diseases.
  •    A study of the patient’s family medical history.
  •    A study of the patient’s smoking history to determine the risk of a tumor.

In the case the patient meets the criteria to be included in the screening program, a low radiation CT scan of the thorax and spirometry tests are carried out. Within a week the patient will have a second consultation with the Pulmonology Service to discuss the results of these tests. Taking into account the patient’s current pulmonary situation, and in the case of there being a risk factor, a personalized protocol to monitor the patient is established. In addition, the patient is advised on the most suitable way to stop smoking.

The European Radiology Society and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) recommend integral lung cancer screening, i.e. at centers with multidisciplinary teams including oncologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons and radiologists with extensive experience in the early detection of lung cancer. It is also important the center run a Tobacco Withdrawal Support Program.

In addition to meeting these requirements, MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid is characterized by the close treatment and empathy shown to patients and their personalized, efficient care.