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UC expands lung cancer screenings

People who worked at Fernald, GE, or other nuclear-related facilities have a new health screening option.The University of Cincinnati's Cancer Institute is partnering with the Building Trades National Medical Screening Program to expand lung cancer testing.

The groups are targeting former employees, over age 55, with a history of smoking.

UC Comprehensive Lung Cancer Center co-director Dr. Sandra Starnes says, "the patients who meet the criteria are smokers, so they're already at-risk for lung cancer. Then with the additional occupational exposure they're probably at higher risk than a normal smoker."

Starnes says CAT scans are better at early detection than lung X-rays. She says the center uses a low-dose radiation process. The health screenings are free for people who qualify through the building trades group. UC's Lung Cancer Center also offers low-cost screenings for others who qualify as high-risk.

Starnes says the building trades group estimates about 600 people qualify for the program.