News & Events

Annual screenings find lung cancer and stop it in its tracks

Bangor, Maine (March 16, 2022) - 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. Lung cancer screenings with low dose CT scans are designed to detect cancers at an early, potentially curable stage when patients have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.

Thanks to Northern Light Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, Mainers can discover potential issues earlier, resulting in more treatment options and better outcomes. This is the case for Corinth resident Doug Hackett.

For three years, Doug’s annual lung cancer screenings came back negative. Then late last year, his primary care provider referred him to the Northern Light Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program. He was scanned, and the results were positive. The team referred Doug to a surgeon, resulting in a successful surgery. Today he is back to playing with his granddaughters, cancer-free. He will receive scans twice a year for two years, and annually after that, but if he hadn’t kept up with his screenings, his cancer could have gone untreated.

Doug shares, “If I can encourage even one person to get the screening, and maybe save one life, this will all be for good. I tell my story because I want others to know that screenings save lives and the staff here at the hospital are fantastic! They are knowledgeable and kind and I cannot begin to say enough about them.”

Amy McClary, RN, BSN, lung cancer screening nurse navigator, Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program, says, “Doug’s story highlights the importance of adhering to annual screening exams. Lung cancer can develop at any time and most patients do not have symptoms until an advanced stage. I am so happy that Doug is doing well and back doing the things he enjoys in life.”

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 northernlight.org/emmclung or call 207.973.5822.