Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute last month launched the first-ever mobile unit with a CT scanner as part of the health system’s effort to address lung cancer diagnoses, treatment and education for rural residents across the Carolinas.

The mobile lung unit is among the first to link those in rural areas to lung cancer education and treatment interventions through integrated mobile technology, traditional treatment facilities and medical staff.

By traveling to locations where at-risk patients live and providing lung cancer screenings, the unit will provide better access to diagnoses and care for underserved, uninsured and high-risk populations.

"This unique vehicle visibly demonstrates our commitment to removing the barriers to care that exist in many of the communities served by Levine Cancer Institute," says Derek Raghavan, M.D., the institute's president.

"We firmly believe that by taking advanced, low-radiation lung cancer screenings to these communities, new lung cancer patients will be diagnosed at an earlier stage and will have access to a broad array of support and treatments," he said.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, taking more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. The creation of the mobile screening unit is intended to help reverse this trend by making care accessible.   

Participants will be screened in their communities, each receiving detailed information about follow-up, resources and contacts.

Features of the mobile unit include: 

  • A built-in portable, low-dose CT scanner that can develop high-quality images for soft tissue and bone for accurate diagnosis.
  • Wireless connection for fast and easy image transfers.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Handicapped accessibility.