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Lung Cancer Programs

Kentucky has one of the highest rates of cancer in the nation, with the disease being one of the leading causes of death in the state. St. Claire HealthCare (SCH) continues to do its part in educating the public and lowering the cancer death rate in Eastern Kentucky. In 2016, SCH joined an effort with the UK Markey Cancer Center to "Terminate Lung Cancer." The goal of Terminate Lung Cancer (TLC) is to increase education and access to screening and preventive measures, including tobacco cessation resources.

Lung Cancer Screening - Kentucky LEADS

Lung cancer is a significant health problem in the United States. Lung cancer is the 2nd leading cause of all deaths behind heart disease, and the leading cause of cancer deaths, with more people dying from lung cancer than from colon, breast, or prostate cancer combined. Regrettably, Kentucky leads the nation in lung cancer incidence and mortality rates, and lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death for both men and women in Kentucky. This is very likely due to one of the nation’s leading rates of adult smoking (24.5%) among Kentuckians, but Kentuckians also encounter a number of additional lung cancer risks that contribute to the overall lung cancer burden, including radon exposure, second-hand smoke, and other occupational and environmental exposures.

Lung Cancer Screening - Kentucky LEADS: Implementation of Quality Lung Cancer Screening

In 2011, results of the National Lung Screening Study demonstrated that individuals at high risk for lung cancer who received annual low-dose computed tomography as opposed to annual chest X-rays experienced a 20% relative reduction in lung cancer mortality and nearly a 7% reduction in all-cause mortality. With regard to defining eligibility, the USPSTF recommended screening among individuals from age 55 through 80 who have a history of at least 30 pack years of smoking and who have not quit smoking within the last 15 years.

St. Claire has been working to implement these lung cancer screening recommendations since 2015 when the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services began supporting and covering the screening. In 2019 St. Claire joined the “Kentucky LEADS: Implementation of Quality Lung Cancer Screening” study which facilitates lung cancer care by assisting lung cancer screening programs in implementing best practices in lung cancer screening. In the first six months of participation in this study St. Claire conducted 125 lung cancer screenings with 33% being baseline scans and 67% annual screenings.

Speak with your primary care physician about lung cancer screening if you or a loved one fit the criteria below:

  • 55-80 years old
  • Current smoker or quit less than 15 years ago
  • Smoking history of at least 30 pack years (such as 1 pack a day x 30 years = 30 pack years or 1.5 packs a day x 20 years = 30 pack years)

Tobacco Cessation

In 2019 St. Claire HealthCare collaborated with the Gateway District Health Department and Quit Now Kentucky to offer various forms of tobacco cessation to our patients to make quitting easier than ever. See below for the full menu of cessation options offered to our patients and community members.

Group Cessation Classes

American Lung Association Freedom from Smoking - If you’re ready to quit, Freedom From Smoking can offer you a clear process to quit for good. During each session, activities and assignments will provide you with skill and techniques to support quitting. Because most people already know that smoking is bad for their health, the program focuses almost exclusively on how to quit, not why to quit. Because no single quit-smoking method is effective for all tobacco users, the program includes a comprehensive variety of evidence-based, proven-effective cessation techniques. This program provides free Nicotine Replacement Therapy and is offered in-person as well as web-based on any smart device. St. Claire in collaboration with the Gateway District Health Department offer four classes a year, call 606.783.6470 for more information and to sign up for the next class now.

Phone Based Counseling

Quit Now Kentucky - Kentuckians who want to stop using tobacco or are concerned about a family member or friend’s tobacco use can call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) from 8 am to 1 am EST Monday through Sunday or log on to for resources to prepare to quit. Quit Now Kentucky features proactive telephone coaching, web-based services, and text messaging. All cessation services are offered in English or Spanish at the point of contact.

Online Support Group

Quit Tobacco with St. Claire - This group is open to individuals who are thinking about quitting but aren’t sure they’re ready, yet, those who are ready to quit, former smokers, loved ones of smokers and ANYONE who wants to know more about how to quit and stay quit. Simply request to join St. Claire’s online tobacco quitters support group at

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