Cancer center offering free screenings for patients


WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH)– There’s a major push underway to make sure cancer is detected early in the greater Waterbury area. The Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center is currently offering free lung cancer screenings to those who live in the greater Waterbury area.

“The earlier the stage the better chances we have of curing this cancer,” said Dr. Joseph Ravalese, with the Leever Cancer Center.

The free screenings came about after a community needs assessment found that Waterbury had the most cases of lung cancer than anywhere else in Connecticut.

“We had higher incidents of lung cancer and a higher mortality rate than the rest of the state,” said Kevin Kniery, executive director of the Leever Cancer Center.

A patient must be considered a candidate for the screening before it can be done. They will then be scanned for lung cancer using a low-dose CT scan machine. The entire process takes roughly 30 seconds. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, this type of CT scan can reduce mortality by up to 20% for smokers when used to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages.

The free lung cancer screenings were started last month and will continue indefinitely.

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