Chip Chapman takes us along for a lung screening

"Today courtesy of CHI Memorial I'm doing some things that most of us don't want to do me included."

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A new report from the American Lung Association shows many Americans who are eligible are not getting life saving screening for lung cancer.

News 12’s Chip Chapman got his own lung screening and explains why it’s so important.

CHIP CHAPMAN: Today courtesy of CHI Memorial I’m doing some things that most of us don’t want to do me included. I did not want to do this but it’s very important. And that is to have a chest and lung screening.

DR. ROB HEADRICK: The bus is mobile so it’s going to go around to all the different places in our region that people congregate. Whether its Church or Hardees, whether it’s a grocery store… and try to make Health Care really simple. I don’t think anybody including myself likes how inconvenient Health Care is. So one of the things we can do is make it more convenient. So from your time, to getting on the bus to getting off the bus, it’s the quickest doctor visit ever. It’s 10 minutes and we’re going to come to where you live instead of making you come to my office, a whole lot easier. And hopefully something that people will engage in their health a lot more if we take some of those barriers away.

Natural Sound [Chip inserted in]

DR. ROB HEADRICK: Once somebody gets on the bus they don’t want to go back to the way they used to do medicine. And it’s simply you know why not make it easy. It’s a… it’s something I think we all crave in this healthcare world, and how complicated life is it should be a 10-minute visit. And then we should be able to take all this data and help you live longer.

MARK MEYERS: So right now in the United States more people die of lung cancer than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. Which… which is shocking to most people. And… and there’s a there’s a number of reasons for that. But a lot of it is just the challenge of diagnosing it early enough; and that’s what this technology… that’s the problem that we’re answering with this is, being able to detect lung cancer much earlier in its progression.

NATURAL SOUND [Notes:Machine beeps]

MARK MEYERS: So and if we know that it’s cancer when it’s very small before it’s spread, we give Physicians… you know many more opportunities to cure it.

DR. ROB HEADRICK: So surprising people are really intimidated when they first look particularly if they’ve been a smoker or had cancer in their family. The most common thing we find is two-thirds of the patients will have significant blockages in the arteries in their heart. Which they’re not very scared about getting treatment but they’ve been ignoring it because of the other barriers getting care. So part of this isn’t just to detect lung cancer but look at the things of how you’re aging and things we can do to help impact your longevity. And the heart is definitely one of those things that we can’t ignore. In this scan essentially starting at age 50. If you’ve had a smoking history of family members with cancer, then you want to get scanned once a year. If we find something that’s concerning we may choose to scan you at a little bit more frequent interval. And if obviously we find something like a cancer then there’s lots of pathways of how we’ll go to diagnose that. What we’ve learned is that if I find lung cancer through this bus, and on early detection, the cure rates 90 percent instead of 20 percent. The treatment’s really simple. You’re not even gonna miss work. You’re not going to have… you might get a few strokes off your golf game from your buddies. But you’re really going to go wow that was easy. And you’re going to keep living life. We’re in a time period now we really got to start being a little more honest with our bodies. Particularly as we’re aging. But do it in a way that’s hopefully not intimidating in a way that helps us live a better life and a longer life.

CHIP CHAPMAN: In a nutshell that’s it. Just a few of the reasons why it’s vitally important you schedule your lung screening today. Do it now.

Categories: Featured, Health, Local News