Lung Cancer Screening at Mount Sinai

At Mount Sinai, we provide unparalleled depth and breadth of research and clinical expertise to diagnose and treat lung diseases. Our physicians are at the forefront of breakthroughs that enable them to diagnose and treat lung cancer at its earliest stages. Our multidisciplinary team provides the highest caliber of patient care, which has established us as a destination of choice for lung cancer patients. 

Lung Cancer is the Leading Cause of Cancer Death in the United States

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women (source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010). This is because the disease shows no symptoms until it has progressed to advanced stages when it is very difficult to treat; but it doesn't have to be this way. Advances in imaging have made it possible to detect lung cancer early on, when treatment can be highly successful. 

Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening at Mount Sinai

  • The Mount Sinai team has over 20 years of pioneering research leadership in detecting early lung cancers. 
  • Mount Sinai's Lung Disease and Lung Cancer Treatment Programs ensure you a seamless transition to the best possible care should it become necessary. 
  • 60 other medical sites across the U.S. and around the world follow Mount Sinai's Lung Screening protocol.
  • This proven screening regimen starting with a low-dose CT scan minimizes unnecessary additional testing and invasive procedures.
  • The CT scan can also detect old or new pneumonia, tuberculosis, cardiac disease and emphysema.
  • It can save your life -- annual CT screenings can find lung cancers in their earliest stages, when up to 92 percent of them can be treated successfully(New England Journal of Medicine 2006: 355: 1763-1771). 

Early Detection with a Computed Tomography (CT) Scan Saves Lives

In November 2010, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released results from a National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) that confirm what we at Mount Sinai have known for quite some time: the best method to detect early lung cancer is achieved through low-dose CT scanning. In fact, the NCI found the NLST evidence favoring CT scans over traditional x-rays in reducing deaths from lung cancer so compelling that they concluded the study early. 

This study confirms groundbreaking research conducted by Mount Sinai physician Claudia Henschke, PhD, MD, Professor of Radiology and published in Lancet in 1999 and in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006, showing that annual screening with CT scans can find 85 percent of lung cancers in their earliest, most treatable, stages by detecting tiny spots, called "nodules," on the lungs. 

A Team of Distinguished Experts

The accuracy with which these nodules are detected, however, depends upon the experience of the team doing the screening and reading the images. Dr. Henschke, who heads up the Mount Sinai team, is not only a recognized expert in her field; she also founded the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP). Through I-ELCAP, a network of 60 sites have adopted Dr. Henschke's protocol for detecting early lung cancer using low-dose CT scans and a screening regimen that minimizes invasive testing to screen more than 50,000 people at risk for lung cancer. 

The Mount Sinai team has developed procedures and analytical techniques for highly accurate assessment of tumor growth, significantly reducing the chances of unnecessary additional tests and treatments. If patients do require surgery, we can catch the cancer at an earlier stage through diagnosis; operate using a smaller incision; remove less of the lung; and provide quicker recovery. 

If you do require treatment for lung cancer, you will be cared for by an integrated, multidisciplinary team of nationally and internationally recognized specialists – all working together and dedicated to seeing that you receive the most advanced clinical care in a supportive and caring environment.