NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — More people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to a news release, it’s the third most common cancer in the U.S.

Essentia Health has a convenient, painless screening option for patients who are especially at risk.

Eligible patients are between 50-80 years old; currently smoke or have smoked one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years.

The screening tool is a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan. This is a computerized scan that uses special X-ray equipment to take detailed pictures of a patient’s lungs.

It features a low dose of radiation and is quick and painless. You don’t have to take any medicine and no needles are used.

Sometimes LDCT scans show abnormal areas — called nodules — in your lungs. most nodules aren’t cancer, but if your screening finds a lung nodule, your doctor may recommend more tests.

“Lung cancer screening is the most effective cancer-screening tool available, with the number of patients needing to screen to save a life being far less than breast cancer- or colon cancer-screening tests,” said Dr. Eric Swanson, an Essentia pulmonologist.

More than 90% of people diagnosed with lung cancer don’t survive the disease, in part because it’s often found at an advanced stage.

Fortunately, Essentia recently deployed an innovative technology that, in some cases, can help diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage — Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform.

This tool features a controller-like interface that physicians use to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung with improved reach, vision, and control.

Combining traditional endoscopic views of the lung with computer-assisted navigation based on 3-D models of the patient’s own lung anatomy, the Monarch Platform provides physicians with continuous bronchoscope vision throughout the entire procedure.

Why is this important for patients?

Those who have small, peripheral nodules can be diagnosed earlier — and via a minimally invasive procedure — allowing for more successful outcomes in the treatment of their lung cancer.

They don’t have to wait until their cancer is Stage 3 or Stage 4 to begin treating it.

“The Monarch robotic bronchoscopy platform has been a real game-changer in the workup of lung nodules allowing us to reach many more nodules we previously wouldn’t have ever attempted due to technical limitations of old technology or risks of alternative biopsy methods,” said Dr. Eric Swanson. “This improved reach throughout the lung leads to earlier diagnosis of lung cancer via a safer and less invasive biopsy method.”

More people die every year from lung cancer than from prostate, breast, and colon cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.

Reduce the risk of lung cancer by quitting smoking

You can reduce the risk of lung cancer by quitting smoking.

At Essentia, they can help patients ditch smoking with the help of their smoking-cessation experts.

Smoking harms your health and raises your risk for many conditions, including certain types of cancer and breathing problems. Your body starts to benefit minutes after you quit.

  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your blood pressure improves and the temperature of your feet goes back to normal.
  • Eight hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • Two weeks to three months after quitting: Blood circulation improves and your lung function increases up to 30%.
  • One year after quitting: Your risk for heart disease may be half of that of a smoker.
  • Five to 15 after quitting: Your risk for heart disease is close to that of a nonsmoker.
  • 10 years after quitting: The risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas goes down.

You can count on the team at Essentia to help make quitting tobacco as easy as possible.

Quitting for good takes time, patience, and practice. Many people try more than once.

Give yourself every advantage by relying on Essentia for:

  • Individual, face-to-face counseling with the local Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS).
  • Medication that can help you quit.
  • Nicotine-replacement therapy gives you low doses of nicotine in the form of gum, inhalers, lozenges, nasal spray, or a skin patch.
  • Personalized quit plan with ongoing follow-up and support.
  • Inpatient and outpatient care,
  • Carbon monoxide screening.

Your dedicated tobacco education and cessation coach has the experience and training to help you start on a path to quitting.

Your tobacco-cessation team may also include respiratory therapists and registered nurses.

Privat insurance providers and Medicaid/Medicare cover many tobacco-cessation services. Talk to a tobacco-cessation counselor at (844) 403-7010 for more information.