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Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer screening FAQs

Why is lung cancer screening important?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the United States. Each year more people die from lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. In the past, by the time lung cancer was found it had already spread to other part of the body. Now, lung cancer screening is available for high risk patients to help detect lung cancer earlier which can lower the risk of dying from lung cancer.

How is a screening done?

During a low dose CT scan you will lie on a table and asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while an x-ray machine that uses a low amount of radiation will scan your chest. This will take 15 minutes and is painless.

When will I get my results?

After your screening is complete a Radiologist will read your exam and send a report to the physician who ordered the scan. Your physician will discuss the results of your scan with you. In addition, if areas of concern are detected, one of our staff members will reach out to you and your physician to offer assistance with obtaining additional recommended exams and/or tests.

How much does it cost

Many insurance companies, including Medicare, will fully cover the cost of the screening if you meet the eligibility criteria. This means that there is no out-of-pocket costs to you. If you are unsure if your insurance company will cover this screening please contact your insurance provider before having this screening.

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • Age 55-80 (Medicare covers eligible patients ages 55-77)
  • No symptoms of lung cancer
  • 30 pack- year or greater tobacco smoking history (calculated as: ___ packs per day X ___ years of smoking= total pack years)
  • Current smoker or quit within the last 15 years

What are the risks of getting screened?

Just like other imaging tests, there are risks associated with a lung cancer screening, such as increased anxiety if abnormalities are detected, inaccurate test results and radiation exposure from the exam. It is important that you talk to your physician about risks, or you can contact our nurse navigator for more information.

How can I prevent lung cancer?

  • If you currently smoke stop smoking. Quitting smoking may lower your risk of developing lung cancer. If you stop smoking before cancer develops your damaged lung tissue will gradually start to repair itself.
  • Limit your exposure to second hand smoke.
  • Avoid exposure to gases and chemical that are known to cause lung cancer. Some of them include, but are not limited to, radon, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, silica, vinyl chloride, nickel compounds, chromium compounds, coal products, mustard gas, chloromethyl ethers, diesel exhaust and radioactive ores such as uranium.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Some studies suggest that eating a diet high in fruit & vegetables may help to protect against lung cancer.

What if my screening shows areas of concern?

If abnormalities, also called nodules, are detected you won’t be alone. Our navigator will work with you and your physician to be sure you get the care you need. Our navigator will help educate you on the next steps in care and assist in answering questions you may have.

Learn About Our Lung Nodule Clinic

Low Dose Lung CT screening order

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