MIAMI, FL | November 1, 2021
Today, Baptist Health South Florida and the American Lung Association announced their partnership to raise awareness for lung cancer screenings through a “Saved by the Scan” campaign. This partnership is the first of its kind bringing together a large healthcare organization and the American Lung Association.
According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer. The "Saved By the Scan" campaign is a public service advertising (PSA) aimed at educating Americans about the groundbreaking lung cancer screening for those at high risk for the disease. The low-dose CT scan can detect lung cancer in the early stages, before symptoms arise, when the disease is more curable.
In 2014, Mark Dylewski, M.D., chief of general thoracic surgery at Baptist Health, and Juan Batlle, M.D., chief of thoracic imaging at Baptist Health, spearheaded Baptist Health’s lung cancer screening program with the generous support of a grateful patient and lung cancer survivor, Dennis Bookshester.
“In the past, 60 to 70 percent of lung cancer patients weren’t diagnosed until the cancer was advanced,” Dr. Dylewski said. “With the implementation of screenings, we are catching more patients in the earlier stages where surgery can have a bigger impact.”
The campaign targets the millions of people in the U.S. who are at high risk for lung cancer and should talk to their doctor about getting a low-dose CT scan lung cancer screening. A person is considered high risk for lung cancer if they are between 50–80 years old, have a 20-pack year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 20 years, 2 packs a day for 10 years, etc.), and are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.
“In Florida, it is estimated that 18,470 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 10,940 will succumb to the disease in 2021. Lung cancer screening is the only way to detect the disease at an early stage when it is more curable,” said Chrissy Cohen, executive director for the Lung Association in South Florida. “Unfortunately, only 3.2% of people in Florida who qualify have had a lung cancer screening. This is why this partnership is critical to raise awareness about this lifesaving screening.”
“Many people aren’t aware that with a quick, painless and safe test, they can be screened,” said Manmeet Ahluwalia, M.D., deputy director, chief scientific officer and chief of solid tumor medical oncology at Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute. “We hope those at risk will take advantage of this test.”
The screening is available throughout Baptist Health. For eligible patients, Medicare and most private insurance companies cover the screening cost.
The South Florida “Saved by the Scan” comprehensive public awareness campaign includes a video public service announcement, digital and print advertisements, and social media. For more information about the campaign, visit BaptistHealth.net/LungScreening.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit Lung.org.
About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.