News Seth Stratton | 6 years ago

Nation’s First Mobile Lung CT Unit Coming to Levine Cancer Institute

Thanks to a $1.6 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Levine Cancer Institute will soon have the nation’s first mobile lung computed tomography (CT) scanner. 

This grant, part of the foundation’s Lung B.A.S.E.S. 4 Life program, will improve access to lung cancer screening and care to low income communities. In addition to the mobile unit, the program includes a comprehensive education, navigation and clinical intervention program to support better outcomes for lung cancer patients. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosis, and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Access to optimal screening is paramount to early diagnosis, intervention and survival for those at high risk for contracting the disease. Lack of transportation to medical facilities, the inability to secure the support resources necessary for adequate preventive care and poor understanding of risk factors all contribute to preventing thousands of Americans from receiving necessary cancer screenings. By eliminating the barriers to care that prevent patients from accessing early diagnosis and life-saving treatment, Lung B.A.S.E.S. 4 Life will improve the quality of life and enhance survivorship for lung cancer patients in the Carolinas. The mobile unit will have a portable, full-body, 32-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner to deliver high-quality images of both soft tissue and bone through low-dose CT technology. The vehicle is expected to be completed by late 2016 and will be piloted initially in Mecklenburg County with plans to expand into other areas where access to care is limited. Lung B.A.S.E.S. will provide lung cancer screenings, smoking cessation education and navigation services to assist patients with any follow-up intervention needed. “By eliminating the barriers that prevent patients from having access to potentially life-saving treatment, we feel strongly that the Lung B.A.S.E.S. program will improve the quality of life, and increase overall survival, for lung cancer patients throughout the Carolinas,” says Mellisa Wheeler, disparities and outreach manager at Levine Cancer Institute.