Health & Family

Mobile lung cancer screening unit to make the rounds in rural Carolina communities

Visitors chat inside of the unit at the Carolinas Healthcare System's Levine Cancer Institute Mobile Lung Screening Launch Event on March 22, 2017.
Visitors chat inside of the unit at the Carolinas Healthcare System's Levine Cancer Institute Mobile Lung Screening Launch Event on March 22, 2017. mmathis@charlotteobserver.com

A portable CT scanner for lung cancer screening will be making the rounds in rural communities across the Carolinas with Wednesday’s launch of a new “mobile lung unit.”

Levine Cancer Institute unveiled the vehicle Wednesday in a ceremony near Carolinas Medical Center. But the unit will be spending most of its time outside Charlotte, to help eliminate transportation and financial barriers to care that prevent people from getting timely care.

Officials say the unit, made possible by a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, will help increase access to diagnosis and treatment, reduce costs associated with late-stage disease and improve treatment of patients by offering the assistance of a nurse navigator to guide them through the complex health system. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, taking more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.

The unit will also be equipped with two iPads for patient education on smoking cessation and other healthy lifestyle information. Patients who are found to have lung cancer will be referred for biopsies and other interventions at Levine Cancer Institute, a part of Carolinas HealthCare System.

Karen Garloch: 704-358-5078, @kgarloch

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