Lung Screening Saved Bill’s Life

Bill Roush would be the first to tell you he thought it was a waste of his time to participate in the new low-dose lung CT cancer-screening program being offered at Sanford Bemidj. Roush would also be the first to tell you doing so saved his life, or at least, saved him from the trauma and pain that would have accompanied advanced lung cancer.

“It was a pretty big shock to find out I had lung cancer,” said Roush, who lives with his wife, Gayle, near Squaw Lake, Minn. “I think this is an amazing service. The test is simple and doesn’t hurt.”

When screening revealed an abnormality, Roush was scheduled that same week for procedures that confirmed and staged the cancer. Because cancer was caught early, surgery was the only intervention he needed.

He’s grateful his wife and Radiation Oncology Nurse Manager, Kim Olson, RN, teamed up to convince him to make time in his busy schedule for the screening. Because he was a former smoker and had worked in the aircraft industry where he was exposed to chemicals, Roush was at higher risk for developing lung cancer—the nation’s number one cancer killer.

Sanford’s lung cancer screening program uses low-dose radiation technology to get detailed pictures of the lungs, helping detect cancer in early stages before people experience symptoms. These painless exams take no more than 15 minutes.

“I felt fine, but a year or so from now when I started feeling bad, it could have been too late,” he said. “If I had to have this experience, I couldn’t have had it in a better place. My wife and I have had excellent care at Sanford Bemidji. We’ve both had treatment there. She had breast cancer and I had prostate cancer treatment. The oncology staff is great. They’ve become like my family. It’s a good feeling just walking in there.”

Roush also said he’s happy this program is available and hopes more people get checked.

“Those of us who live in rural areas probably don’t realize how much Bemidji has to offer,” he said. “There are so many new specialists and good services. We’re happy to have this kind of health care right down the road.”

Gifts to the Sanford Health Foundation of Northern Minnesota made an immediate impact by helping provide cutting-edge technology, equipment and treatment, expand programs and improve services for all patients, including Roush, at Sanford Bemidji. Donors helped ensure access to the very best health care for your family, friends and neighbors.

To learn more about the Sanford Health Foundation of Northern Minnesota or to make a gift, visit or call (218) 333-5505.

Posted Date: June 2014

Lung Screening Saved Bill’s Life

Bill Roush is grateful his wife convinced him to take time out of his busy schedule for a lung cancer screening. This painless, 10-minute screening detected early stage cancer.