Lung Cancer Screening
Those at Risk
Lung cancer risk rises greatly in patients who have smoked more than 20 pack years. This means a pack a day for twenty years or two packs a day for ten years. Despite cessation of smoking the risk never returns to zero. It is for this population that CT screening is suggested.
It is generally accepted that routine yearly chest x-ray screening for Lung Cancer has had little impact on early lung cancer detection. Either a tumor is seen when it is already too large to remove, or it has spread microscopically.
Recently, there has been evidence that abnormalities found on yearly Chest CT scans may represent lung tumors in their earliest stages. By following these areas closely, the thought is that a tumor can be detected at a stage when it is removable, and hopefully, curable.
In a sizable minority of patients, small, non-specific abnormalities are found. Of these abnormalities only a minority turn out to represent early cancer. However, by carefully following these areas with serial repeat scans, the chance of a cure is enhanced by early detection.
At this time the CT screening for lung cancer is not covered by insurance. The fee will be reviewed with you and the appointment can be scheduled by calling us and obtaining a referral/ prescription from your physician. Please don’t hold off from having this test performed because of cost, prevention early can save your life. We are trying to help fight and prevent this deadly disease, and the CT screening is an important way to start.