Kim Sandler, MD, Co-Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Lung Cancer Screening 2.0 Committee and Member of the ACR Lung-RADS® Steering Committee, contributed this piece.

Lung cancer screening saves lives through the early detection of disease. Often, these patients are eligible for curative resection, with significant improvement in both morbidity and mortality when compared to late-stage diagnosis. However, disparities remain in enrollment and adherence to annual screening for lung cancer, particularly in rural communities and minority groups.

National Lung Cancer Screening (LCS) Day, held on Nov. 11, 2023, in partnership with the ACR, American Cancer Society National Lung Cancer Roundtable, GO2 for Lung Cancer and the Radiology Health Equity Coalition, provides an opportunity to open imaging centers on a Saturday and welcome patients who may not otherwise be able to undergo screening. Stepping outside of our typical busy weeks also allows us time to celebrate our screening programs and the patients, clinicians, navigators, technologists and staff who have partnered with us to increase the number of lung cancer survivors. As LCS Day falls concurrently on the Veterans Day holiday, the team is also partnering with the Veterans Administration to increase outreach and awareness to our veteran population.

The Vanderbilt Lung Screening Program team is very much looking forward to participating in LCS Day. Last year, we participated in the inaugural event unsure of exactly what to expect. The day was extremely successful, both because of the number of people who were able to be screened and for the experience that we were able to provide. What we heard from our patients was gratitude — gratitude for providing lung screening and specifically for making the opportunity available on Saturday. Many of our Screening Day participants were dependent on friends or family members for transportation and struggled to coordinate travel during the week. They also could not take time away from work to undergo screening. We provided a light breakfast and screening program giveaways to express our appreciation for enrolling in our program. We were able to take more time to talk to people about the clinical lung screening program and about research studies to improve the early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer. Many expressed an interest in research and were eager to learn more about the opportunities at our institution and in partnership with other programs across the country. The patients felt appreciated, and we were honored to be able to provide this lifesaving exam.

I encourage you to participate in National Lung Cancer Screening Day this November. To be able to take more time with screening program enrollees was an invaluable experience and one that we are very much looking forward to this year.

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