LUCAS is making a difference in rural communities, says the WVU Cancer Institute

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) – People living in rural communities appreciate the difference LUCAS, a mobile lung cancer prevention unit, is making in the lives of many.

LUCAS is a unique entity launched last fall by WVU Cancer Institute and WVU Medicine Hospitals.

LUCAS recently returned to Rowlesburg Park in Preston County, where long-time smoker Carolyn Bray was able to easily walk to the annual follow-up she had scheduled at the nearby Rowlesburg Clinic.

She understood the importance of the visit more than most: her father, Bradley Bever, died of lung cancer 20 years ago.

“If he had been screened earlier, maybe things would have been different,” Bray said. “I like it a lot. I can come down here and get checked out, maybe sooner, [and] catch it That improves my chances.”

LUCAS tours the Mountain State to provide state-of-the-art, low-dose computed tomography scans in areas without local access to lung cancer screening.

In its first year on the road, it visited 22 counties in West Virginia, performed more than 800 lung cancer screenings and identified seven cases of lung cancer.

John Trembly guides LUCAS around West Virginia’s country lanes, registering patients upon arrival and helping with equipment maintenance. He said the program is already transforming life in rural communities.

“It’s great to see people getting the treatment they need before they realize they need it and getting it early before their quality of life is impacted so they can be with their families and their grandchildren and continue to be themselves.” take care of their gardens and houses and just enjoy life,” said Trembly.

LUCAS builds on the success and infrastructure of Bonnie’s Bus, a mobile mammography unit offering breast cancer screenings throughout West Virginia.

Since its inception in 2009, Bonnie’s Bus has performed more than 26,000 mammograms and detected at least 125 cases of breast cancer.

Both units are part of the WVU Cancer Institute’s mobile cancer screening program, which works nationwide in partnership with clinicians, public health professionals and community leaders to provide cancer prevention services in underserved communities in West Virginia.

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