Odessa Cancer Center Spreads The Word About New Lung Cancer Screening Tool

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9
ODESSA- West Texas has consistently been a heavy tobacco-using part of the country, which means lung cancer is particularly prominent here in the basin. The West Texas Cancer Center is trying to spread the word about its new lung cancer screening tool which has already proven to be extremely effective.

Alan Neff of Odessa was diagnosed with lung cancer in November of 2011.

"I was upset- not only with me, but also with God and with the world," he tells us.

However, with the help of West Texas Cancer Center, he has been free of it since March of 2012.

"I wanted to come out and celebrate the fact that I'm still a survivor of lung cancer," he says at Thursday night's "Shine a Light on Lung Cancer" event held in the center's healing garden.

The event is the first of its kind for the center and was pulled together to raise greater awareness throughout the community.

"[It's] important [because] lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in America," says Radiation Oncologist Dr. Joseph Kaczor.

Up until now, no screening tools for lung cancer have been available to the public, so it's often too late for several patients who come in with the disease.

"When they come with advanced disease, most of the time, besides all of the advancements and treatments we have, they end up dying of their disease," he says.

Yet now there is a very new screening tool that is able to detect lung cancer in its earliest stage and West Texas Cancer Center's got it. It's a low-dose CT scan and is less harmful to the body than a traditional CT scan.

We're told it's not yet covered by most insurance providers, but the center says they're working with patients to offer it to them for an affordable rate.

For more information, contact West Texas Cancer Center at (432) 335-8275.