Lung nodule tool

Baptist Health Paducah and West Kentucky Community and Technical College have collaborated to develop this 3D lung nodule tool, which will be used by health care professionals for patient education. It shows the different sizes and shapes of lung nodules, as well as some of the screening criteria for lung cancer.

Baptist Health Paducah and West Kentucky Community and Technical College have recently collaborated to develop a “3D lung nodule tool” that will be used by health care professionals for patient education.

According to the hospital, lung cancer is the No. 1 diagnosed cancer in Kentucky and this new tool helps provide a visual aid for patients. It shows different sizes of nodules — ranging from 20 millimeters to two millimeters — and different shapes: smooth, spiculated and lobulated.

It also shares some of the screening criteria for lung cancer.

Dr. Keith Kelly, a pulmonary and critical care physician, described this educational tool as a “very simple, visual device” that shows various sized nodules in a three-dimensional and touchable way.

“It helps patients understand the size and the nature of these things. If one were to read the radiology report of a CT scan without training and education and what that terminology means, it can be very confusing,” Kelly told The Sun.

“A lot of times these patients have already seen their CT scan reports before I’m even talking to them about them and they have a lot of questions about what do these various terms mean and also what does that mean for their health, and the tool helps in a visual way to describe these things.”

The tool was developed with input from the Emerging Technology Center of WKCTC, and multiple departments at Baptist Health Paducah, including pulmonology, oncology and imaging. The tools will be distributed to Baptist Health hospitals in Kentucky and Indiana.

WKCTC students, led by Sam Arnone, program coordinator for computerized manufacturing and machining, will produce approximately 300 tools. It involves milling, routing, cutting, engraving and 3D printing. The project was made possible thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Baptist Health Kentucky Foundation, according to the hospital.

Kevin O’Neill, vice president of regional workforce training and economic development for WKCTC, described the project as a great partnership. He said the tool production is ongoing and it’s been a “neat experience.”

“There’s machining. There’s drilling. There’s 3D printing,” he told The Sun. “There’s all sorts of processes that go on, and it aligns with his program.”

Meanwhile, November also marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Kelly shared information about the disease and the importance of screening.

“I think much of the population is very clearly aware of the severity and general prevalence of lung cancer,” Kelly said. “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related death in adults.”

He said early screening helps with the ability to reduce the risk of cancer death, before noting that, despite a lot of advances in cancer care, the treatment is not perfect. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is much better in patients who are identified early.

“A stage one lung cancer patient may have a 90% survival rate, whereas a later stage lung cancer patient may have a very poor 12 to 15% chance of five-year survival,” Kelly said.

“Screening is the best way we can identify these cancers at an earlier stage and thus make an impact on that mortality rate.”

Baptist Health Paducah offers screenings through a low-dose CT scan of the chest to check for signs of cancer in people who do not have any symptoms of the disease, according to a news release.

The hospital said screenings are available for people who meet the following criteria: 50 to 80 years old; 20-pack year smoking history (which is defined as smoking one pack a day for 20 years, or two packs a day for 10 years); and a current smoker or a former smoker who has quit within the last 15 years.

People can take a free online assessment to learn about their risk factors, according to the hospital. To schedule a lung screening, contact patient navigator Lauren Sonneck at 270-415-7631.

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11

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