Are you a former smoker? Do you currently smoke?
Know your risks: A simple low-dose CT scan can often find nodules and other early indicators of lung cancer.
If You Have Ever Smoked, Ask Your Doctor About Screening for Lung Cancer. It Could Save Your Life.
Lung cancer is frightening. It’s the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, mainly because diagnosis often comes after the disease has progressed to an advanced stage.
But it doesn’t always have to be that way.
Like with other types of cancers, early detection can save lives. Screening with a low-dose CT scan often can find nodules and other early indicators of lung cancer. In 2020, with increasing evidence of the screening’s effectiveness, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force expanded eligibility, making the test available to more people. But many do not know they are eligible.
If you are between the ages of 50 and 77, have a 20 pack-year smoking history (if you smoked one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years) and if you currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years, your doctor can give you an order for low-dose lung cancer screening.
This screening is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance.
Before you’re sent for screening, you’ll be evaluated and asked about your smoking history. If you still smoke, you’ll be offered information about programs and services to help you stop. And you really should stop – smoking is by far the biggest cause of lung cancer and quitting smoking significantly reduces your risk of developing cancer. You’ll be counseled on the risks and benefits of screening, and then you can schedule your appointment for the low-dose CT scan.
If the screening is normal, the CT images will be your baseline for annual screening that will continue until you stop smoking and are smoke-free for 15 years.
If the scan indicates abnormalities, you will be referred to our Lung Nodule Team, who will bring you in for an expedited appointment to talk about the results and determine what follow up tests may be necessary. Those tests will be scheduled immediately.
More than 90 percent of nodules found by screening are benign, but if the diagnosis turns out to be cancer, you will be referred to MetroHealth’s expert Oncology Team. You will have access to the latest, cutting-edge treatments and, because of early detection through screening, a far better chance of survival.
Ask your doctor right away if you are eligible for low-dose lung cancer screening.