Lung Screening Program

Lung Cancer Screening Saves Lives

According to the American Cancer Society, every 2.5 minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with lung cancer, every 3 minutes someone will die from lung cancer, 60% of people diagnosed with lung cancer will die within one year, and 75% of people diagnosed will die within 2 years. Lung cancer is the #1 cause of cancer death in the United States, as it kills more people than breast, colon, and prostate cancer combined. Low dose CT technology can help in the early detection of many types of lung disease, including lung cancer. The lung cancer screen is just one of the many ways we can help you live better and longer.

Facts About Low Dose Lung CT

  • Any exposure to radiation carries some risk. Lung cancer screening uses low-dose radiation which is about ¼ the dose of a regular CT scan. This dose is about the same has having 30 chest x-rays.
  • Lung cancer screening can sometimes result in follow-up exams, such as bronchoscopy or needle biopsy, and additional costs.
  • Your doctor will manage follow-up if you require further testing.

What is Low Dose Lung CT?

CT stands for “computed tomography” (also known as a CAT scan) and is a type of x-ray used when doctors need a detailed look at a specific part of your body. “Low-dose” means the CT scan uses very little radiation and results in minimal negative effects to your body. The amount of radiation is similar to your exposure to radiation during an airplane flight. The screening is helpful in detecting early-stage lung cancer before you experience any symptoms. A National Lung Cancer Screening Trial proved screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT reduces the risk of lung cancer death by 20%. This is similar to results for breast cancer screening with mammograms.

What Should I Know Before My CT Scan?

  • Continue taking regular medications.
  • There are no restrictions on food or drink.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Dress in comfortable clothing.
  • You may have to change into a hospital gown if there is metal in your clothing, such as in a bra or a zipper.
  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home.

Who is Eligible for Screening?

• Adults age 55-77 years of age with a smoking history meeting criteria AND
• Current cigarette smokers OR
• Former cigarette smokers who have quit within the past 15 years

What Does the Screening Cost?

Medicare and most private insurance companies cover this exam. Please contact your insurance provider for specific fees. The fee includes the CT scan and the interpretation by a board-certified radiologist.

How Do I Get Started?

Contact MCH Oncology Navigator Stacy Bond, RN at (432) 640-2689. A physician order is required.
(432) 640-1573 Fax
(432) 640-1028 Registration

Can Anyone Help Me Stop Smoking?

Yes! The best advice is to never start smoking. But once you’ve started, we know it can be very hard to “kick the habit.” Medical Center Health System has a team of dedicated smoking cessation experts ready to help you.

For additional information, contact: Renato Galindo, Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist at (432) 640-2026 or rgalindo@echd.org.

Are There Other Considerations?

While screening exams can detect some cancers, there are instances of false positives (scan is abnormal but no cancer is present) or false negatives (scan appears normal even though cancer is present).