ST. CLOUD -- Health officials are trying to discover lung cancer in patients before it becomes to late.

CentraCare Health will be launching a their new Comprehensive Lung Nodule & Cancer Screening Program tomorrow (Thursday).

Dr. Melissa McClure is a Pulmonologist with CentraCare Health. She says compared to other cancers, lung cancer has never been easily detected in its early stages.

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in men and women.

McClure says with the new screening program they hope to reduce the number of lung-cancer related deaths.

The screening program is designed for patients between the ages of 55-74-years-old, current smokers, or quit smoking in the last 15 years.

McClure says the screening mirrors a National Lung Screening Trial that showed a 20 percent cancer reduction in smokers screened.

The screenings will be part of a trial run at CentraCare but McClure hopes the program will maximize early detection while minimizing unnecessary testing and procedures.