Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States — more than breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined. It's no secret that smokers have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers, even years after quitting. If you are a current or former smoker who is concerned about your risk for developing lung cancer, our low-dose CT screening program may be right for you. This method of early detection for lung cancer has been proven to reduce the risk of lung cancer death by 20%.
The Advantage of Early Detection
Typically, symptoms of lung cancer don't appear until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage.
Our low-dose CT screening program is the only recommended tool for detecting lung cancer in its earliest stage — before symptoms are apparent. As with most cancers, early detection of lung cancer offers the best opportunity for a cure.
Who is Eligible for Screening?
Our program follows the guidelines from the National Lung Screening Trial and is recommended for adults between the ages of 55 and 77 who:
- Have a "30-pack-year" history of smoking. A pack year is the number of packs of cigarettes smoked daily, multiplied by the number of years smoking. For example, one pack a day for 30 years, or 2 packs a day for 15
- Meet the above criteria and currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years
- Have no symptoms or history of lung cancer
Lancaster General Health offers an online assessment to determine if you're eligible for this screening. A doctor's referral is needed to schedule this test.
Is this Test Covered by Insurance?
Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer is covered by a growing number of insurance plans. Check with your insurance company to find out if it is covered by your specific plan. The self-pay fee includes the CT scan, interpretation and written report by a board-certified radiologist, and follow-up reminder from the radiologist to the patient and referring physician, when needed.
Getting the Results
All scans are interpreted by a board-certified radiologist who will send a written report to the patient and referring physician following the screening.