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Westmoreland County’s High Lung Cancer Incidence Rate Combatted by Excela Health

GREENSBURG, Pa., November 1, 2018 … Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer among both men and women in the United States, often precipitated by a lifetime of tobacco use. With Westmoreland County exceeding the state and national incidence rate for lung cancer, Excela Health offers a breath of fresh air to the community through a wide range of lung services. The topic is particularly relevant during November, which is designated Lung Cancer Awareness Month and when the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout occurs - this year on November 15.

Excela Health’s Advanced Lung Center is rated a Screening Center of
Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, a health organization whose mission, in part,
is to guide at-risk patients to a treatment center and to share best practices, patient
education tools and research opportunities with healthcare professionals. The Excela
Health Advanced Lung Center is under the direction of Michael F. Szwerc, MD, board
certified general and thoracic surgeon.

Known as the “mammogram” of lung cancer testing, a low dose CT scan aids in
finding cancer sooner. Generally, with early detection, more treatment options may be

Because of the low-dose CT scan offered at Excela Health Advanced Lung
Center, Neil and Ellen Kush of Hempfield Township both discovered cancerous tumors
in their lungs early and were treated by Dr. Szwerc before cancer became
uncontrollable. They were both smokers for more than 40 years. When Dr. Szwerc
found Ellen Kush’s tumor in a precautionary screening for another surgery, he made
sure Neil Kush received a CT scan as well. “It was caught early, and that saved me,” Neil Kush said of the tumor on his lung. Neil and Ellen Kush both qualified for low-dose CT screenings due to their age and lifestyle. Excela Health recommends screenings to those individuals who are age
55 to 77, individuals who are current or former smokers, and if the individual is a former
smoker, that smoker must have quit within the last 15 years.

Excela Health Advanced Lung Center sees patients in three locations:

  • Mountain View Medical Park, 200 Village Drive, Greensburg
  • Excela Square at Norwin, 8775 Norwin Avenue, Suite B, North Huntingdon
  • Excela Square at Frick, 508 South Church Street, Mount Pleasant

For more information, and to watch an interview with the Kush couple, visit the
Advanced Lung Center page on To schedule an appointment,
call 1-844-2TESTME. The staff will review screening eligibility and schedule an
appointment accordingly.

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