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Early lung cancer screening saved this grateful patient's life

Dori Neuman understood the dangers of smoking, so even after quitting cigarettes 15 years earlier, she jumped at the opportunity to be part of City of Hope’s trial of a new lung cancer screening technique in 2005.
Neuman found it exhilarating to be included in the multi-year study, one of the first to use low-dose computerized tomography (CT) screenings to identify lung cancer. Previously, chest x-rays were the standard test for the disease. They were moderately successful at best, and scientists were searching for better ways to detect early-stage lung cancer and thus get a head start in treating it.
Year after year, Neuman’s screenings came back negative, but she diligently continued with them. Then in 2015, her scan revealed a small tumor in the right upper lobe of her right lung.
“What a blessing it was for me to be in this extended study, because when the cancer was found, it had not spread anywhere, to other lung tissue or anywhere else,” Neuman, of Orange County, said. As it is for so many people with cancer, finding it before it had metastasized has been key to her success in fighting it.
City of Hope’s research proved to be a landmark contribution to the advancement of lung cancer screening. Early detection is particularly important in lung cancer, which typically does not cause symptoms until it is at a more advanced stage. And the evidence has shown that CT scans – now considered the gold standard  – are more effective than chest x-rays, reducing  lung cancer mortality rates by as much as 20 percent.
The screening process itself could hardly be faster, Neuman said. The scan captures high-resolution images of the entire chest cavity during a single breath.
And getting a CT scan is easier for Neuman than getting an MRI. It’s like sliding into a large open donut hole, she said. “Just ask my doctors, the only way that I can do an MRI is they have to put me to sleep before even going into the room,” she said with a chuckle. “But my CT scans are stress-free and comfortable.”
City of Hope’s lung cancer screening program brings together state-of-the-art CT techniques and highly specialized lung experts who interpret the test and consult with the patient about the results and recommendations. Another advantage for the cancer center’s patients: Access to participating in breakthrough research and clinical trials, much like Neuman did in the 2005 screening program.
For current or former smokers who are unsure of their lung cancer risk, Neuman is an enthusiastic advocate for CT testing and its lifesaving potential.
“To anyone who has ever smoked and stopped, or is still smoking, or anyone who did not smoke but found themselves around secondhand smoke, I encourage you to ask your doctor about CT lung cancer screening,” Neuman said. “It saved my life, and it just might save yours.”
CT screening for lung cancer is covered by many health insurance plans, including Medicare, as an essential health benefit.
To learn more about the lung cancer screening program at City of Hope Newport Beach, call (626) 535-3983.
To join City of Hope physicians for a March 18 webinar, Hope for Lung Cancer: Screening, Treatment and Cures, please visit:
To make an appointment to speak with a lung cancer physician, call City of Hope Newport Beach at 949-763-2204, or visit