Experience the Blessing Difference: Low-Dose CT Yearly Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in America, claiming more lives than colorectal, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined. Annual low-dose CT lung screenings can aid in finding lung cancers in their earliest stages.
Having a low-dose CT screening for lung cancer is NOT a substitute for quitting smoking. If you have tried to quit in the past, keep trying. Quitting smoking often requires multiple attempts. Talk to your health care provider today.
Who is Eligible for a Low-Dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer?
- Age 50-77
- At least a 20 pack-year** history of smoking
- Currently smoking or has quit within the last 15 years
- No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
- Yearly screenings are recommended
**Pack-Year is the number of packs smoked a day multiplied by the number of years smoked.
What Is a Low-Dose CT Scan?
Low-dose CT lung cancer screening is an exam done yearly with the ability to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages when it is most treatable. It consists of a low-dose, noncontrasted CT that uses X-ray to scan the entire chest in about 5 to 10 seconds during a single breath hold.
What are the Benefits of a Yearly Lung Cancer Screening?
- Low-dose CT scans can detect lung nodules that can be an early sign of lung cancer.
- Some cancers found early can be surgically removed.
- It may detect cancer before you have symptoms.
- A large trial* found a 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality and a 6.7% reduction in all-cause deaths when using a low-dose CT scan for screening compared to chest X-rays.
* Results are from the National Lung Screening Trial.
What Does the Screening Cost?
Currently, Medicare and some private insurance companies are covering the low-dose CT scan for screening once a year for high-risk individuals. Please contact your insurance company to discuss your benefits.
What Should I Know Before My CT Scan?
- No medications or injections are given.
- No restrictions on food or drink before the scan.
- Take medications as usual.
- You will lie on your back for the test.
- Wear comfortable clothing, as you may be asked to change into a gown.
- You will need to be able to hold your breath for several seconds during the scan.
- The appointment will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
Are There Any Risks?
Like any imaging or diagnostic procedure, there is a low level of risk including:
- False-positive results: False positives can lead to further imaging or invasive tests, such as CT scans or biopsies.
- Overdiagnosis: a small chance that the screening can identify a slow growing cancer that would not lead to illness or death.
- False-negative results: when a test appears to be normal even when lung cancer can be present.
- Exposure to radiation: equals about one-fourth the amount of radiation as a routine CT scan of the chest.
To learn more about Low Dose CT Scans, contact your primary care provider, contact our Centralized Scheduling team at 217-223-1200, ext. 4300, or click here to request an appointment.