Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screenings
Atlantic General Hospital’s Imaging Department provides low-dose
CAT scans for individuals most at risk for developing lung cancer. Studies
have shown that this type of screening is successful in preventing a significant
number of lung cancer deaths. Roughly three-quarters of lung cancers found
after symptoms emerge cannot be cured.
Atlantic General Hospital's Imaging Department has been named a Screening
Center of Excellence by the
Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) for its ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening.
Low dose CT screening for lung cancer carried out safely, efficiently
and equitably saves tens of thousands of lives a year.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions that can tell you more:
Who should have this screening?
Those individuals most at risk of developing lung cancer are candidates
for this screening. This includes current and former smokers, individuals
with a close family history of lung cancer, and those with work-related
asbestos exposure. The criteria for screening are below:
- Completed a face to face shared decision-making visit
- Are between 55 and 77 years old
- Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
- Smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30+ years
- Asymptomatic (without signs or symptoms of lung cancer)
What are the risks of this screening?
There is a certain amount of risk associated with any type of imaging procedure
that utilizes radiation. Therefore, those at lesser risk of developing
lung cancer should not receive this screening. Any individual interested
in being screened for lung cancer should have a face to face discussion
with their provider about the benefits and risks of this type of screening.
Is this screening covered by insurance?
This screening is covered by Medicare and Private Insurance, if preventative
coverage is listed on the insurance plan. Please check with your insurance
company to learn about coverage under your specific plan.
Is the exam expensive?
The screening is covered by Medicare. However, if you do not have Medicare,
the price of the screening is within reach for many current and former
smokers who are concerned about their lung health, costing about the same
as four cartons of the cigarettes. Individuals who enroll in the screening
program must commit to a minimum of one low-dose lung CAT scan each year
each year for as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. Depending
upon your insurance plan, you may be responsible for the cost of the subsequent
exams as well. Please consult your primary care provider and your insurance
carrier for more information.
What steps do I take if I want to have the low dose lung cancer screening?
This screening requires an order from a patient’s physician. If you
want the screening, you must talk to your physician. Your physician will
provide an order If he or she determines that you are a candidate. Your
Provider will notify us that you are eligible for a Lung Cancer Screening
and our scheduling department will call you to set up an appointment.
How will I get the results of my lung screening?
Our Lung Screening Coordinator will notify you and your Provider by letter
for a 12 month or 6 month follow up exam. If it is necessary for you to
see a Pulmonologist (lung specialist) about your results, this will be
discussed with your Provider and your Provider will call you to explain
your results and the plan going forward.