According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women in the United States. Patients usually show no obvious signs of lung cancer until it is in a late stage when it is difficult to treat. Lung cancer screening is used to detect lung cancer early, when it is more treatable. A low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan is recommended for people at high risk for lung cancer.
If you are a current or former smoker, a low-dose CT screening could save your life! Discuss your medical history, the risks of screening and benefits with your doctor. In order to be covered by Medicare, you must visit your doctor and have an order. Your provider may schedule a low-dose CT lung cancer screening by calling 833.234.4050.
Stop lung cancer in its tracks.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and 85% of cases occur in cigarette smokers. Studies show that lung CT scans using low doses of radiation can effectively detect lung cancer in its earliest stages and most importantly, lower your risk of dying from lung cancer.
- A low-dose lung screening is capable of detecting very small but potentially cancerous cells at the earliest stages, which may allow for the least invasive treatment options.
- Screening can aid in reducing the risk of dying from lung cancer by 80%.**
It's A Yearly Check
Lung cancer screening is a regular preventive health check, like a mammogram or colonoscopy. It checks your lungs while you are healthy and looks for any changes from year to year.
Are you eligible for a lung cancer screening?
You must be 55 -70 years.
You must have smoked at least:
You must be a current or former smoker.
If you have quit in the past 15 years you may still qualify.
Other risk factors include:
- Radon or occupational carcinogen exposure (asbestos, arsenic, diesel fumes, etc.)
- Family history of lung cancer
- COPD or pulmonary fibrosis
- Personal history of cancer or lymphoma
Is This Screening Covered By My Insurance?
Your insurance may or may not cover the cost of a low-dose CT screening for detection of early-stage lung cancer. This screening is covered by Medicare when ordered by your doctor after a lung cancer screening counseling appointment. Most commercial insurance plans follow Medicare guidelines and may require a precertification based on individual policy criteria. Check with your insurance plan to find out about your screening coverage. Cost of self-pay is $150 and will be due at the time of service. A flexible spending account may be used to cover the cost of this screening.
What Happens During A Lung Cancer Screening?
During the screening, an LDCT scan creates a detailed 3-D picture of your lungs. This scan will expose you to a low dose of radiation. LDCT uses 75% less radiation than a traditional CT scan and does not require any needles or medicines. Your doctor or provider may ask for more tests if he or she sees something on the scan.
How Will The Findings Be Interpreted & Reported?
The study will be reviewed and interpreted by a board certified radiologist. Please note you may receive a separate bill from the radiologist. The report will be sent to the provider that ordered the low-dose CT screen and they will be informed if additional follow-up is needed. A nurse navigator will follow up on all positive results.
What You Can Do
- If you are a smoker, start a plan to quit. We can help!
- Make your home and work environment smoke-free.
- Be aware of occupational exposures.
If you are still smoking, talk to your provider about ways to help you quit. Georgetown Community Hospital offers Freedom From Smoking®. Small groups will meet once a week for seven weeks to:
Learn how to prepare to quit
- Medicines that can help you stop smoking (Partnering with Wedco District Health Department for Nicotine Replacement Therapy)
- Managing stress
- Avoiding weight gain
- Establish a Quit Day
- Develop the skills to remain smoke-free
- Find support for maintaining a smoke-free lifestyle
- To register for the Freedom from Smoking® program or for more information on lung cancer screening, please call Miranda Harrison at 502.316.5895