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Former long-time smoker says lung cancer screening saved her life

Nov 18, 2014

A routine mammogram revealed Kathrine Reed of Salem had stage one breast cancer.

“I was lucky we caught it so early,” she said. After successful surgery at Salem Hospital, Reed made a follow-up appointment with her surgeon to check for other possible cancers. The surgeon referred her to the low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for lung cancer through Salem Cancer Institute, but explained the test would not be covered by insurance.

Reed decided to go ahead with it anyway. Turns out, this may have saved her life.

“I smoked for 50 years and I quit about four years ago,” said Reed. “I knew the risks and sure enough, it happened.” The scan revealed Reed had stage one lung cancer. “Thank God for my surgeon—and the one good thing I got out of breast cancer saved my life.”

Make sure to watch the video Salem Health produced about Reed’s story.

The science behind the story:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. (160,000 last year alone).
  • 75 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at stage three or four, when the chance of survival is less than 15 percent.
  • At stage one or two, there is a better chance the patient can be cured.
  • When high-risk patients are screened annually with LDCT scans, the number of cases caught at stage one increased from 20 percent to 40 percent.

With these incredible results in mind, Salem Cancer Institute launched the LDCT scanning program. The $99 includes a LDCT scan, education and follow-up. Scholarships are available to those who qualify thanks to the Salem Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit or call Salem Cancer Institute at 503-561-7226 (SCAN).

Salem Health is a proud supporter of the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 20 and tobacco quitters everywhere. Visit the American Cancer Society’s web page.

Salem Hospital and Salem Cancer Institute are a part of Salem Health, which is also comprised of West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Salem Hospital received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ from Healthgrades in 2014, placing it among the top 5 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. “Like” us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter; and view us at YouTube.

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