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Oct 29, 2020

We pre-recorded today's conversation with Dr. Shalini Reddy, Thoracic Surgeon and Medical Director of Thoracic Surgery at Valley Health's Winchester Medical Center and Kristin Zimet, a lung cancer double survivor.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. As part of our community health partnership with Valley Health, our conversation this month focused on lung cancer screenings, the importance of having them BEFORE symptoms appear and how those without insurance can get a screening at a reduced cost on November 7, 2020.

Valley Health is hosting a Community Low Dose CT Lung Screening event on Saturday, November 7, 2020 from 8am - 12Noon at WMC Diagnostic Center. This is a special one-time screening event (limited to 12 patients) for uninsured/underinsured patients who meet screening eligibility criteria. The cost for uninsured patients is usually $250, excluding reading fee; however, at this event the $99 all-inclusive fee (scan and radiologist’s reading) will bee offered and must be paid that day.

Patients will meet with one of two physicians – Dr. Reddy or pulmonary medicine specialist Daniel Hynes, MD – at no charge to discuss eligibility and meet shared decision making requirement before physician orders the scan. Patients will know result of their scan before leaving. Thoracic oncology patient navigator will be available to assist patients who need additional follow-up or support.

To schedule an appointment, call the event’s designated scheduler at 540-536-1658. Patients will be asked COVID-19 screening questions when they arrive. Masks must be worn inside the Diagnostic Center.

Dr. Reddy also invited listeners to join the lung cancer team for a non-competitive walk to promote awareness of the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and the importance of early detection in saving lives.

Route: Walking trail around the lake behind the Valley Health Cancer Center on the Winchester Medical Center campus To access the walking trail, enter the Cancer Center and go through the main lobby to the door leading outside to the healing garden.

Masks must be worn inside the Cancer Center and during the walk. Those in the same household may walk the trail together but should maintain a minimum of six feet of distance from any other walkers. Family or friends watching loved ones walk should also maintain proper social distancing.

To participate in the walk virtually, take a photo of yourself to show your support of lung cancer awareness. You can share it by sending in a private message to the Valley Health Facebook page or by using #VHLungWalk. For more information, call 540-536-3932.

In the second segment, Kristin told us her lung cancer survivor's journey. She has survived two separate incidents of primary lung cancer having never been a smoker nor a family history. In a 2013 surgery, part of the right lower lobe of her lung was removed. In a 2018 surgery, part of the left upper lobe was removed. She has lost approximately one third of her lung capacity; however maintains an active and healthy lifestyle. She offered advice and to those currently in diagnosis as well as those who may be putting off a screening due to fear.

In 2019, the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer designated Winchester Medical Center a Care Continuum Center of Excellence for lung cancer care -- the first hospital in Virginia so recognized.

Valley Health has one of the most comprehensive pulmonary/thoracic programs in the region for the diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of lung cancer. The program’s multidisciplinary team includes specialists in thoracic surgery, radiology, interventional radiology, pathology, pulmonology, interventional pulmonology, medical oncology, radiation oncology and thoracic patient navigation.

  • Lung Cancer Screening - Valley Health wants to find lung cancer at its early and more treatable stage and work towards eliminating late-stage lung cancer.Low dose CT lung screening is available at all Valley Health hospitals for adults with a history of smoking who are at high risk of lung cancer. The screening program has expanded to include patients who have an incidental lung nodule found during routine or emergency imaging. Valley Health’s multidisciplinary Lung Nodule Clinic specializes in expediting care for patients with lung nodules or lesions and provides assessment and options for further testing and follow-up. The clinic’s team of pulmonary and thoracic specialists also includes specialists in diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology and medical oncology.
  • Advanced Diagnosis – WMC interventional pulmonary specialists use robot-assisted technology combined with endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) for diagnosis and staging in one procedure. This technology is also used to accurately mark lung lesions for more targeted radiation therapy as well as surgery.
    • In 2019, WMC was the first facility in the broader region to acquire Intuitive Surgical’s ION™ Endoluminal System to perform robotic-assisted bronchoscopy. WMC is the fourth hospital to acquire the ION robot, in addition to its six clinical research sites.
    • The new ION system enables minimally invasive biopsy in difficult-to-reach peripheral areas of the lung.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery - The hospital’s thoracic surgeons are experienced in minimally invasive video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robot-assisted techniques using the da Vinci® XI™ Surgical System. Coupled with remarkable improvements in post-operative pain management and enhanced recovery protocols, these techniques help patients feel better and return home sooner.
  • Cancer Treatment and Support - Patients who receive treatment for lung cancer at the Valley Health Cancer Center at WMC will have the personal support of a thoracic patient navigator and access to treatment options such as advanced chemotherapy, radiation therapy and interventional radiology if indicated.