On September 1, Alberta Health Services launched the Alberta Lung Cancer Screening Program (ALCSP) pilot project with support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The 2-year pilot will offer lung cancer screening to about 3,000 eligible Albertans using low-dose computed tomography scans.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Alberta. Currently, 7 out of 10 lung cancer cases are found in advanced stages. Screening can find lung cancer earlier when treatment is more likely to be effective. Getting screened regularly can lower the risk of dying from lung cancer by almost 25 percent.
Albertans may be eligible for screening if they are between ages 50 to 74 and smoke cigarettes or have quit smoking after at least 15 years. Eligible Albertans need a referral from a primary care provider within 1 of 3 Primary Care Networks: Calgary Mosaic, Edmonton O-day’min, or Grande Prairie. These locations were chosen for the pilot based on high smoking rates and population demographics.
Cigarette smoking causes 8 out of 10 cases of lung cancer. By screening people who are at high risk, the ALCSP will help find lung cancer early and save lives. In addition, the program will refer patients to the Enhanced Tobacco Cessation Service to discuss their interest in quitting smoking and options for support.
The 2-year pilot will inform the implementation of a province-wide lung cancer screening program. To learn more about lung cancer screening in Alberta, listen to this podcast: https://on.soundcloud.com/Ehmpy #LungCancerAwarenessMonth with Dr. Alain Tremblay, Medical Lead of the ALCSP, and visit screeningforlife.ca/lung