Baptist Health Paducah opens new Lung Nodule Clinic

October 20, 2022

The new clinic will help to reduce the number of lung cancers by promoting early detection.

(Paducah, KY) October 17 -- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. and in Kentucky. Early detection is key and Baptist Health Paducah has recently opened a new clinic to help reduce the number of lung cancers by promoting early detection with low-dose CT scans and opening the region’s first lung nodule clinic, offering a prompt diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, which can initially present as a lung nodule.

The Lung Nodule Clinic at Baptist Health Paducah provides patients with a comprehensive team who work together to create tailored treatment plans for each patient. The team consists of lung experts from several medical disciplines, including pulmonary medicine, cardiothoracic surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology. 

Early detection of lung cancer is the primary goal. Most lung cancers are detected from incidental findings, or accidentally discovered during an evaluation of something else. Most patients with lung nodules do not have symptoms, including some lung cancer patients. If caught in its early, more treatable stages, the chances of survival dramatically improves. Screening for lung cancer is critically important. Baptist Health Paducah has been named by the American College of Radiology as a designated lung cancer screening center and a screening center of excellence by the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.

Pulmonologist, Jeffrey Clarke, MD, alongside Patient Lung Navigator, Lauren Sonnek, RT (R) (CT) (MRI), will oversee the clinic. Advanced practice registered nurses are on-site to provide patient education, support and follow-up care.

“I want to stress to the public the importance of current or former smokers to check with their health care providers to see if they are a candidate for lung cancer screening with a chest CT,” said Jeffrey Clarke, MD. “Screening CT scans can detect potential lung cancers at a much earlier stage and when they are asymptomatic, and much more likely to be curable. That is the goal of our Lung Nodule Clinic, to help people by detecting their cancer earlier.”

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) defines those who are “high risk” as being 50-80 years old, if you smoke 20 or more pack years (1 pack a day for 20 years, 2 packs a day for 10 years) and current smokers or those who have quit within the last 15 years.

If you meet the USPSTF’S criteria for being “high risk,” talk to your primary care provider about being screened for lung cancer. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, our experts are ready to support you. The Lung Nodule Clinic is located at 546 Lone Oak Road. To take a lung cancer risk assessment, visit Lung Cancer Signs & Treatment | Baptist Health Paducah, KY