Only 15% of lung cancers are diagnosed in an early stage because often there are no symptoms. The lung cancer screening program at Dignity Health offers those at risk for lung cancer the opportunity to screen for it before symptoms develop.
Lung cancer screenings are now covered by Medicare Part B and all major insurances.
Our Lung Cancer Screening Program includes:
Why get screened for lung cancer?
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death-more than cancers of the breast, prostate, colon and pancreas combined. A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI showed that screening people at high risk for lung cancer with low dose computed tomography (CT scans reduced lung cancer deaths by 20%. Another study estimates that early detection and treatment of lung cancer could save more than 70,000 lives a year in the United States.
Who is at high risk?
- Individuals ages 55-80 years of age
- Current smoker or have quit within 15 years
- If you have a smoking history of 1 pack per day over 30 years OR 2 packs per day over 15 years
Is screening right for me?
Lung cancer screening is not appropriate for everyone. Current and former smokers over the age of 55 are at greatest risk for developing lung cancer. An important consideration for screening is whether the level of individual risk is high enough for screening to be of benefit. Our physicians or your primary care doctor can discuss the benefits and risks of screening to determine what is best for you.
What is a CT and what are the risks?
A computerized tomography scan, commonly called CT or a CAT scan, produces detailed images of a person’s body. The lung cancer screening program takes a low dose CT scan of your chest. The radiation dose that you will receive from a low dose CT scan is lower than that which you would receive from a normal CT scan of the chest.
What if I have an abnormal finding?
Each abnormal finding is reviewed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team. After review, our physicians will discuss the results with you and the best options for treatment or further evaluation.
What if you find something that isn’t cancer?
CT scans may pick up other findings that may help you and your doctor, for example: emphysema, infections, or calcification of the coronary arteries. We will notify both you and your doctor of any abnormal finding.
What can I do to decrease my risk of cancer?
The most important thing that you can do to decrease your risk of lung cancer is to stop smoking. Following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are also very important. Please talk to your doctor for more information.
To obtain more information or to make an appointment for a screening, call (209) 564-3161.