Screening is a test used to detect lung cancer before any symptoms appear. Screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) scans can reduce deaths among those at high risk. The test is not recommended for everyone and it has risks as well as benefits. Read on for key points you may want to use in discussion with your doctor if you are worried about your risk for lung cancer.
Are you a candidate for lung cancer screening?
Lung Cancer Screening is recommended for those at “high risk” and meet the following criteria:
- 50-80 years old (55-77 with Medicare)
- Have at least a 20 pack-year history of smoking cigarettes (1 pack per day x 20 years, 2 packs per day x 10 years, etc.)
- Must be a current smoker or have quit within the last 15 years.
If you feel you are at “high risk”:
You must speak to your provider to discuss your complete health history and determine your eligibility. He/she will explain the risks vs benefits of lung screening, the importance of adhering to the program and it’s recommendations, as well as the importance of smoking cessation and/or abstinence.
If you meet the requirements, your provider will schedule your appointment for you at a Lung Screening Facility.
A note on insurance
Be sure to check with your insurance plan for screening coverage on CT Low Dose Lung Screenings (CPT Code 71271). Not all plans are the same but most are required to cover this service and in most cases are covered at 100%. It is recommended that you contact your insurance company directly to verify.
Resources for you
NMC offers tobacco cessation classes and support in partnership with 802quits.org. For more assistance with your quit attempt, contact 802quits.org.
Northwestern Medical Department also has a Pulmonology clinic and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programming. If you would like an appointment with our Pulmonologist, Dr. Nsour, call 802-524-8909.
If you would like more information about lung cancer and lung cancer screening, there are a variety of lung cancer screening resources available for patients and healthcare professionals. Visit Lung.org/lungcancer or call the Lung Help Line at 1-800-LUNGUSA.