A lot of patients who come to the Lung Center for management of lung cancer are in the late stages of the disease. The curative procedure for lung cancer is surgery, which should be done in Stage I, II or II-A of the disease. The prognosis for Stage II-B or IV becomes dismal when the illness is diagnosed for the first time at that stage.
In order for the Lung Center to effectively help patients with lung cancer, the diagnosis has to be made in the early stages of the disease, when signs and symptoms are not apparent.
The objectives of the program are:
- To establish a program for the early detection of lung cancer
- To enable the Lung Center of the Philippines to effectively manage patients with lung cancer, and
- To determine the cost-effectiveness of such a program
To achieve these objectives, the Lung Center has drawn up criteria of who may be included in the Program:
- For inclusion: Patients, 50 to 75 years old, who smoke or smoked one pack of cigarettes a day for at least 10 years
- For exclusion: Patients known to have lung cancer.
Organization of the Program
The Chairman or Program Director screens patients to be enrolled, assigns specific tasks to members of the program, makes certain that patients' data are recorded and filed properly, and makes periodic reports to the Tumor Board.
The Co-Chairman or Assistant Program Director oversees the functions of the Barangay Operations Committee which are:
- To identify community areas, organizations, work places and others as sources of patient enrollees
- To facilitate patient enrollment and follow-up (scheduling, transportation, computerization)
- To work closely with the Secretariat in the implementation of the program
- To work closely with the Public Information group in the recruitment of patient enrollees and eventually identify a community leader
The Public Information Committee is tasked with:
- Devising ways and means to disseminate the Early Detection of Lung Cancer Program
- Identifying privileges and benefits for enrollees in the program (free chest x-ray, free transportation, free consultation, quarterly newsletter, discounts when patients are admitted)
- Taking charge of posters, primers and video
The Education Committee has the following objectives:
- To motivate high-risk individuals to join the Early Detection of Lung Cancer Program
- To make the high-risk individuals aware of the value of early detection of lung cancer
- To find ways and means to sustain their interest so that they will be able to complete the surveillance period.
The Early Lung Cancer Detection Program aims to identify lung cancer in high-risk patients at an early stage to improve clinical outcomes.
The program enables to catch subjects at risk of developing Lung Cancer in the early stage of the disease as well as their subsequent treatment.