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Lung Cancer Screening
Knowing Is Breathing Easy
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the world. And, unlike some cancers, the five-year survival rates are about 16%. Symptoms emerge slowly. By the time a nagging cough, chest pain, or weight loss develops and lung cancer is diagnosed, the disease may already be advanced.
A simple, low-dose CT (LDCT) scan can often detect lung cancer at an earlier stage, increasing the chance for successful treatment and long-term survival. In fact, a recent study suggested 20% lower mortality overall in patients who are screened.
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. The abnormal cells can grow and develop into tumors that interfere with the function of the lung. But, because it can take a while for any physical symptoms to develop, early detection is literally a lifesaver.
Cigarette smoking is the cause of most lung cancers, but there are other factors, too. Exposure to asbestos, radon, environmental factors, and secondhand smoke also can cause lung cancer.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) conducted a large national lung screening trial (NLST), which showed a benefit in detecting lung cancer earlier in heavy smokers using a low-dose CT scan. Essentially, it comes down to how long and how much you have smoked in your lifetime.
People Who May Be Candidates for Lung Cancer Screening
- Current or former smokers, between the ages of 50-80, who have quit within the last 15 years
- Smokers, between the ages of 50-80, who have a 20-pack-a-year smoking history (For example, one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years).
- Nonsmokers who have been exposed to second-hand smoke
- Nonsmokers who have had previous radiation therapy
- Nonsmokers who have had exposure to radon gas, asbestos, or other carcinogens
- Nonsmokers who have a family history of lung cancer
Regardless of your eligibility for participation in the lung screening program, if you are a smoker, we recommend enrollment in a smoking cessation program and many health insurance plans offer reimbursement for smoking cessation classes. Learn more at smokefree.gov.
The scan you will receive is a low-dose CT scan of the chest. This scan is painless and takes just a few minutes. The amount of radiation received from the scan is very low. It is approximately one-eighth the amount that would be received from having a regular CT scan and similar to the radiation exposure you receive naturally from the environment over approximately six months.
Providing state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for lung cancer, the Redeemer Health in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper team is dedicated to helping you understand your options and make informed decisions about your health. A dedicated nurse navigator will be your guide through your entire experience.
You owe it to yourself and your loved ones, to take control of your health. For a long-term smoker, a proactive lung cancer screening test is among the most important steps toward securing extended quality of life.
If you think you may be a candidate for a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer, please follow the steps below:
- You must first visit with your primary care physician so they can determine if you are an appropriate candidate for a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer
- If your physician deems you an appropriate candidate, they must complete a prescription form (download the prescription form here) for a lung cancer screening
- Once these two steps are complete you can request a screening appointment using the form below. Please note that depending on your insurance, you may need a referral or authorization for a lung cancer screening.