Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT frequently asked questions
Yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose CT, or LDCT, has been shown
to save lives by finding lung cancer early, when it is easier to treat.
The goal of lung screening is to detect lung cancer earlier. Without LDCT
lung screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops
symptoms. At that time, the cancer is much harder to treat and sometimes too late.
Call 816-943-4556 and speak with our Lung Health Coordinator if you have
any questions or if you think you qualify for our Lung Cancer Screening Program.
Who should get a lung cancer screening?
LDCT lung screening is recommended for people who are at high risk for
lung cancer. Screening before symptoms appear may
lower risk by as much as 20 percent. Those who have symptoms of a lung condition at
the time of screening, such as a new cough or shortness of breath, are
not eligible. They should see a physician immediately. People ages 55-77
who have smoked at least an average of one pack a day for 30 years. This
includes people who still smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
Why does it matter if I have symptoms?
Certain symptoms can be a sign that you have a condition in your lungs
that should be evaluated and treated, if necessary, by your healthcare
provider. These symptoms include fever, chest pain, a new or changing
cough, shortness of breath that you have never felt before, coughing up
blood or unexplained weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, see
your physician immediately.
If I meet the criteria, but have a previous cancer diagnosis, is lung screening
still recommended for me?
It depends. In some cases, LDCT lung screening will not be appropriate,
such as when your physician is already following your cancer with CT scan
studies. Your physician will help determine if LDCT lung screening is
right for you.
Do I need to have a low-dose CT screening every year?
Yes. If you are high risk, a lung screening is recommended every year until
77 years of age.
How effective is low-dose CT from preventing death from lung cancer?
Studies have shown that when compared to single-view chest X-ray screening,
LDCT lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20
percent in people who are at risk.
How much does the screening cost?
Medicare and most private insurances will cover the low-dose CT as part
of a screening for those who meet high-risk criteria. For those with insurance,
we will bill your insurance provider. We also offer a self-pay discounted
rate through MDSave of $150.
What should I do if I think I qualify?
Call our Lung Health Coordinator, Michelle Boucher, at 816-943-4556 to
answer a few brief questions and we will work with your health provider
to get you scheduled.