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CT Lung Cancer Screening

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S, with more people dying of  lung cancer than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. More than half of the patients have metastases (spread of cancer to other parts of the body) by the time of diagnosis.

The goal of Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening is to detect lung cancer when it has the best chance of being cured.

What is lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer screening looks for signs of this disease before there are any symptoms in patients who are at high risk. Modeled after mammography, which has been successful in detecting breast cancer, Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening uses computed tomography (CT) to take pictures of the lungs to detect potentially treatable lung cancers.

How is screening done?

Screening is done with a computed tomography scan (CT). This scan is similar to a regular CT scan, but less radiation is used and does not require patient preparation.

Should you be screened?

Individuals who meet all of the requirements listed below should have a conversation with their doctor or healthcare provider about receiving annual CT Lung Cancer Screenings.

Criteria:

  • Men and Women aged 55 - 80
  • Current smoker or former smoker who quit in the last 15 years
  • Individuals with at least a 30 pack-year history of smoking
  • Individuals who would be willing and able to under go treatment
  • Do not have any signs or symptoms of Lung Cancer

What if I receive a positive result?

A dedicated nurse navigator is available to organize follow up care for patients detected with pulmonary nodules.

Is lung cancer covered by my insurance?

Medicare pays for lung cancer screening for people age 55 to 77 with no out of pocket cost. Private insurance plans cover lung cancer screening for people age 55 through 80 with no out of pocket cost. Medicaid coverage varies by state, but is covered in Maryland for those age 55 to 77, with possible co-pay if out of network.