Getting a screening for lung cancer can be a life-saving procedure, but for some, costs may get in the way of that.

At the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, they’re eliminating the cost barrier for people that may be at risk of developing lung cancer, and they want to let the community know about it.

When we talk about cancer symptoms, it can usually turn into a laundry list, but for lung cancer sometimes you have no symptoms.

“Coughing is otherwise a typical symptom. But having said that, most of these patients smoke. They have some chronic cough anyhow. So to distinguish what’s just a chronic cough that they have all the time or is there a lung cancer developing is almost impossible,” says Dr. Urs von Holzen, Director of Surgical Oncology at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care.

A 2011 study gave the Goshen Center for Cancer Care an idea to help those that may be at risk of lung cancer.

“They did low-dose CT scans to try to find small lung cancer before it actually causes symptoms. That study has shown to save lives, pretty substantially,” says Dr. von Holzen

But with a CT scan comes a cost, so the Goshen Center for Cancer Care has created a free lung cancer screening program for those that qualify.

“Patients that are over 55 years of age, and have smoked more than 30 pack years. One pack year means one pack of cigarettes a day for a year. These qualify as high risk patients, and we would screen those patients.”

The free program is also offered to those 50 and older, smoke 20 pack years, plus have been exposed to additional risk factors.

Other than those qualifications, the Goshen Center for Cancer Care has opened the program to firefighters, to help our hometown heroes.

“We don’t want to scan every healthy, young firefighter. So, we have firefighters that have been on-the-job quite some time, that have been in a lot of structural fires, that are actually exposed to these harmful chemicals, and stuff.  And we just want to make sure those people that have provided a big service to us, we can keep them safe as possible.”

For more information on the free lung cancer screenings, click here.