Lung CT Screening
Lung CT (computed tomography) screening is a highly effective new way to check for lung cancer. And it's available at Baptist Health.
If you smoke or used to smoke, you're at risk for lung cancer. Like all cancers, it's important to detect lung cancer as early as possible when it's most treatable. Lung CT screening is the most thorough diagnostic tool available today.
The Proof - 20 Percent Fewer Deaths
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Lung Screening Trial showed that current and former heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose spiral CT had 20 percent fewer deaths from lung cancer than those who had screening with standard chest X-rays. The study looked at various screening methods to detect cancer at relatively early stages.
Your doctor may recommend you have lung CT screening if you are in one of these categories:
- Current heavy smokers* who have no symptoms or personal history of lung cancer and are between 50-80 years old.
- Former smokers who quit in previous 15 years.
*Heavy smoking is defined as at least "20 pack years," calculated by multiplying the average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years you have smoked. 1 pack a day for 20 years = 20 pack years. 2 packs a day for 10 years = 20 pack years.
A screening lung CT uses low-dose spiral CT (computed tomography), a type of X-ray that provides a multi-image scan of your chest. These images help your doctors detect even smaller tumors that standard chest X-rays cannot reveal.
For the screening, you lie on a table that slides into the CT scanner. You lie still and hold your breath for about 30 seconds.
Lung CT screening is typically covered by insurance. Due to recent CMS coverage for screening, many cancer programs are applying to be able to provide coverage now.
You may also complete an online form to determine your screening eligibility.