Free Lung Cancer Screening For Veterans on Veteran’s Day

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — honoring veterans on Veteran’s Day with a free lung cancer screening.

Millions of men and women have served in the U.S. military at home and abroad. Their loyalty and dedication are honored on Veteran’s Day. A day not forgotten at Middlesex Hospital, offering  the free lung screenings to veterans.

Long time smoker of 53 years, Jack Martins is a former Marine Corporal who smoked four packs a day.

“That’s the effect of when you are that young, you are never going to die, you are invincible.”

Martins was diagnosed with Stage 1-A lung cancer, after he was screened last year.

“I came home and my wife said there was a story on Channel 8 from Middlesex Hospital and Jocelyn was interviewing someone about lung cancer screening and I think you should watch it.”

Radiologist Dr. Adam Elias confirmed the cancer on Jack’s right lung with Pet/CT imaging, “If you compare it to the other side, how smooth it is, that’s normal, and then when you come over, it’s smooth, then its no longer smooth, there’s a large nodule.”

Dr. Elias stressed, “The most important thing is that low dose screening of the chest is safe and it saves lives.”

“Veterans tend to run the higher risk than the rest of the population,” said Lung Specialist Dr. Raymond Schoonmaker, “They often have a smoking history, if not now, at least in the past.”

Putting smokers like Martins at a higher risk for lung cancer.

Dr. Schoonmaker, a pulmonologist, said, “Yes, I have to tell them they have lung cancer but its usually finding it at a very early stage when it is curable.”

Martins is now cancer free, and no longer smoking. He said he wants fellow veterans to take advantage of the free screening.

“The day I found out that I had lung cancer is the day I quit,” said Martins. “Even if it’s not stage 1-A, they can start treatment which would save your life life, please come down.”

Statistics show that 80 to 90 percent of patients who are screened and found to have early stage disease like Martins can be cured. Other factors putting veterans more at risk, exposure to Agent Orange, Asbestos and Radon.

The free lung screening is Tuesday (November 11th) from 9 am until 1 pm at Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center, located at 536 Saybrook Road in Middletown. It is for veterans, both retired and active. There will be a risk assessment test given to determine eligibility for screening.

For more information contact Megin Iaccarino at 860-358-2066.

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