If you are a past or current smoker, you may be eligible to participate in the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Norton Thoracic Institute. This program involves the use of a type of imaging called low-dose computed tomography (CT) to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages, when a cure is most possible. Medicare and most insurance companies now cover this screening for people who meet certain criteria.
Low-dose CT screening for detection of lung cancer has been proven to save lives. In fact, the National Cancer Institute has shown that low-dose CT screening reduced lung cancer deaths by 20%. Another study estimated that early detection and treatment of lung cancer could save more than 70,000 lives every year in the United States.
Lung cancer screening is appropriate only for those who are considered at high risk for lung cancer. You may be eligible if you:
If you meet these qualifications, talk to your physician about getting a referral for a lung cancer screening. For more information about the program or to make a self-referral, call Norton Thoracic Institute at 602.406.4000.
As a patient in the Norton Thoracic Institute Lung Cancer Screening Program, you will undergo a short and painless CT scan. Your scan will be checked by a radiologist and then reviewed by a team of physicians, including a thoracic radiologist, thoracic surgeon, cardiologist, pulmonologist, oncologist, internal medicine specialist, and infectious disease specialist.
These physicians will develop a report about your current status and any recommendations for needed medical care or follow-up. The report will be sent to your doctor. In addition, you will receive a call to go over these findings and recommendations. The good news is that most patients who are screened do not have lung cancer. Occasionally, a scan reveals another condition, such as valley fever or a lung nodule, which may require follow-up care.
If you are a smoker, you can take advantage of smoking-cessation counseling and assistance at the Lung Cancer Screening Program.