Lung cancer screenings can save lives

December 08, 2020

Lung cancer is the most common cancer treated at Baptist Health Paducah

(Paducah, Ky.) Nov. 18, 2020 November may be Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but lung cancer is a year-round issue at Baptist Health Paducah.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer treated at the hospital, as well as the most common cancer in both men and women in the U.S. Lung cancer kills more people than pancreatic, breast and colon cancer combined, in part because lung cancer often does not have symptoms until it is too late to treat effectively.   

In 2018, the Lung Cancer Alliance named Baptist Health a Screening Center of Excellence for its ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening. Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer carried out safely, efficiently and equitably saves tens of thousands of lives a year.

“With only 5 percent of eligible patients getting lung screenings, our goal is to educate the community to better reach those who qualify and to detect lung cancer in the earliest stage possible,” said Carrie Green, lung screening navigator. “My job is to coordinate appointments, answer questions and concerns and communicate with providers for appropriate follow-up care.” 

Medicare and most insurance will cover the cost of the low-dose CT lung screening for people who meet these Medicare criteria:

  • 55 to 77 years old
  • Greater than 30-pack year smoking history  (defined as smoking one pack a day for 30 years, or 2 packs a day for 15 years, or 3 packs a day for 10 years)
  • Actively smoked within the last 15 years, and 
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer such as recent weight loss, hoarseness or persistent cough

If you meet the criteria, you will need a provider’s orders for the painless, non-invasive test. You can talk to your doctor or the Baptist Health lung navigator by phoning 270.415.7631.