MetroHealth reveals new program allowing for earlier detection of lung cancer risks

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 5:28 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - There’s new hope in the fight against cancer thanks to doctors working with MetroHealth.

Dr. Yasir Tarabichi of MetroHealth has unveiled a new, life-saving program for those at risk of lung cancer.

Doctors say an early diagnosis is the difference between life and death, and Tarabichi has developed a rapid outpatient diagnostic program.

“What we’ve done with this program is we’ve jumped straight to the top,” Tarabichi says. “As that CAT scan goes in, our dedicated lung cancer specialist is evaluating the patient, their imaging and figuring out if this may or may not be a problem and what it is that we need to do next.”

Tarabichi says the idea came when patients had early findings of lung cancer, and it was taking too long for appointments with specialists.

His goal is to quickly find out if someone is at risk of lung cancer.

“Before the patient can even talk to their original doctor about the problem, you have a specialist calling you saying, ‘Hey we’ve seen your CAT scan, and we think this is exactly what we need to do next,’” Tarabichi says.

Tarabichi says this program has the potential to reduce racial disparities in healthcare.

“People that come from racial, ethnic, minority groups take longer to get to that point of diagnosis. So they end up getting worse off care and worse outcomes,” he says. “We showed that we were dramatically able to reduce the time for evaluation for everybody. They were doing a lot better than they were before.”

Tarabichi says this program could soon be available to more patients as other health systems review the findings.