Regular mammograms are key to detecting breast cancer early, and the same is true for colonoscopies in finding colon cancer when it’s most treatable. But did you know that those at risk for lung cancer due to a smoking history have the same potentially lifesaving benefit in low-dose CT scans?
The low-dose CT scan lung screening program at CentraState can detect cancer at its earliest stages, even before symptoms start – and that’s when it’s easiest to treat.
“Unlike chest X-rays, a CT scan can detect nodules as small as one to two millimeters,” says Sharon Lorfing, RN, MSN, APN-BC, screening coordinator at CentraState. “We can then track nodules this small for changes and growth. It’s amazing when we catch lung cancer early, because it means a potential cure.”
Screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT scans has increased the overall survival rate by 20 percent over five years, according to Lorfing.
Screenings are covered by Medicare and most private insurance if you meet insurance guidelines. Plus, low-dose CT screenings are available every year for those who meet newly updated criteria:
- Adults ages 50 to 80 (50 to 77 for Medicare patients)
- Who have smoked a minimum of 20 “pack years,” which is the equivalent of one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years
- Who currently smoke or who have quit within the past 15 years, and
- Who exhibit no symptoms of lung cancer
If you meet these guidelines, you can get a prescription for a low-dose CT scan from your primary care physician, or call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727) for a physician referral. Plus, CentraState offers a low-cost, self-pay option for those who do not have insurance or who do not meet the requirements but wish to be screened due to risk factors like a strong family history of lung cancer.
Learn more or schedule a lung screening by visiting centrastate.com/lung-screening or calling 855-411-CANCER (855-411-2262).