Joanna Thompson Discusses What Makes a Patient High Risk for Lung Cancer

December 31, 2020

SAP Partners | <b>Quality Care Cancer Alliance (QCCA)</b>

There are several risk factors to review when determining whether or not a patient is high risk for lung cancer and should be screened, said Joanna Thompson, multidisciplinary program manager, Highlands Oncology Group.

There are several risk factors to review when determining whether or not a patient is high risk for lung cancer and should be screened, said Joanna Thompson, multidisciplinary program manager, Highlands Oncology Group.

Transcript

How are you identifying patients as potentially high risk for lung cancer? Is it just a matter of smoking history or are there other criteria to consider?

So, we follow the NCCN [National Comprehensive Cancer Network] high-risk categories 1 and 2. So, there are several risk factors that you have to go through with patients. What we do with our referring providers is we tell them, “If you can identify the patients who are 50 and older, have a long smoking history, send them a referral to us.”

And then we have schedulers who are trained to go through the risk assessment more in depth with the patient, and do further questions such as how long have you smoked? How many packs per day? Do you have family history of cancer? Personal history of cancer? Any exposure to cancer causing substances? And then identify the patients who are high risk, put them into the program. And then the ones who are not [high risk], we just let the primary care doctor know.

But we do feel like really putting the bulk of the work on our department and our schedulers helps the primary care doctor be able to refer more patients, because they're simply sending the referral and not having to do a lot of the legwork to enroll patients