News & Events

Medical Center acknowledges Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November

Date: 11/03/2021

Did you know…
  • Every 3.3 minutes someone in the US dies of lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer kills 433 Americans each day. To put this in perspective, that’s the same number of seats on a 747 airliner.
  • Lung cancer kills almost two times as many women as breast cancer and has held that position for more than 30 years.
  • Maine lung cancer rates are 30% higher than the national average.
  • Nine million Americans are eligible for screening, but only 3% of eligible patients are screened.
  • The five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer is approximately 5%.
  • 75% of lung cancers detected last fiscal year from a lung cancer screening CT were early stage
    lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer screening, with a low dose CT scan, is designed to detect cancers at an early, potentially curable stage when patients have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and despite these alarming statistics, there IS good news!
Early detection is key, and, thanks to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, Mainers can discover potential issues earlier, resulting in more treatment options and better outcomes. Essentially, patients without symptoms are detecting cancer earlier and living longer because of these screenings. In fact, in 2021, out of 2,700 patients screened, 27 patients began receiving treatment for lung cancer after it was detected through the Program.

“Our goal is to spread awareness of our Program in hopes of enrolling more eligible people who may be at risk of having unrecognized, potentially curable lung cancer,” says John Klemperer, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and director, Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program. “We work to help patients understand the benefits of a lung cancer screening, assist them with insurance questions, and ensure they’re receiving appropriate follow up care.”

Since its beginning, the program at the Medical Center in Bangor has partnered with hospitals across Northern Light Health to offer initial lung cancer screenings at these member hospitals:
  • Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Presque Isle
  • Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Blue Hill
  • Northern Light CA Dean Hospital, Greenville
  • Northern Light Inland Hospital, Waterville
  • Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, Ellsworth
  • Northern Light Mayo Hospital, Dover Foxcroft
  • Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Portland
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, Pittsfield
Anyone who thinks they may be at risk of lung cancer should speak with their primary care provider and find out if a local screening option is available and covered by their insurance plan. 

To learn more about the Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit or call 207.973.5822.