Levine Cancer Institute
The Lung B.A.S.E.S. (Bringing Awareness, Screening & Education to improve Survivorship) 4 Life program will feature the nation’s first mobile unit for early identification of lung cancer coupled with comprehensive education, navigation and clinical intervention for better outcomes for lung cancer patients.
Located in the heart of what has historically been known as the tobacco belt, North and South Carolina share some of the highest incidence and mortality rates from lung cancer nationwide. Thousands of these Americans struggle to receive necessary routine check-ups and other routine testing. They face problems including a lack of transportation to medical facilities, inability to get the support resources necessary for adequate preventive care and limited education contributing to a poor understanding of dangerous lifestyle choices.
Further, the stigma associated with a lung cancer diagnosis creates an additional layer of mistrust and contributes to barriers to early detection and care. This frightening trend of poor access leading to delayed detection, ultimately resulting in higher than standard community mortality rates, will continue. Unless these barriers to access are addressed and innovative approaches to care are delivered to those at high risk for lung cancer, the gap between vulnerable populations receiving life-saving care will widen.
The Levine Cancer Institute (LCI) will receive $1.6 million to support the Lung B.A.S.E.S. 4 Life program. They will deploy a mobile CT scanning unit into vulnerable communities where access to care is limited in order to provide free lung cancer screenings, smoking cessation education and navigation services to assist with follow-up, monitoring and transition to care for those identified with a positive scan.
By eliminating the transportation, financial, and resource barriers to care that prevent patients from accessing early diagnosis and life-saving treatment, Lung B.A.S.E.S. 4 Life will improve the quality of life and enhance survivorship for lung cancer patients in the Carolinas. With appropriate screening and earlier detection, LCI will decrease the time it takes to diagnose and begin treatment for lung cancer, reduce overall costs often associated with late-stage disease and improve the rates of those lost to follow-up by carefully tracking results and navigating patients through the complex health system. Visibility of the unit in the community along with education provided by the screening navigator will serve to reduce the stigma associated with the disease.
Mellisa Wheeler, Mellisa.Wheeler@carolinashealthcare.org