Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, killing more people than colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers combined. Eight-five percent of lung cancer cases occur in current or former smokers. Fortunately, this disease is often treatable if caught early. Recent studies show that low-dose CT lung cancer screening can lower your risk of dying from lung cancer.
If you are interested in getting screened, ask your primary care provider whether you qualify. If you do not have a primary care provider, call a referral consultant at 844.GO.SOVAH, and we will connect you with local providers who are accepting new patients.
LDCT (Low-Dose Computed Tomography) works much like an x-ray to produce pictures of your chest and lungs. This screening detects lung abnormalities with less radiation than a conventional CT scan. The CT machine takes a detailed picture of your lungs that helps your physician locate anything abnormal. The scan takes less than 30 seconds and can detect extremely small nodules - meaning cancer can be found in its earliest stages when it's most treatable.
If you would like to undergo a lung screening, the first step is to make an appointment with your primary care provider. This appointment will be a time to discuss your age, smoking history and other factors in order for your physician to determine if you are eligible for screening. If you are eligible, your primary care provider will schedule your LDCT scan.
Your primary care provider (PCP) will follow up with you to explain your results and discuss any additional necessary medical care. Should an abnormality be detected, you will have the option of scheduling a meeting at our Lung Nodule Clinic to discuss your screening and next steps including non-surgical and surgical biopsy options.
Medicare now covers the cost of LDCT screening for high risk patients. Many private health insurers provide coverage as well. Your physician will give you more specific details about eligibility and costs during your consultation. If you do not meet criteria or do not have health coverage, Sovah Health - Martinsville offers LDCT scans at a reduced self-pay cost.
If you have ever been a smoker and answer "yes" to these questions, you may be considered high risk for lung cancer:
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of a low-dose CT. This lung screening may be recommended or you may request it. To find a doctor to take care of your lungs, call 844.GO.SOVAH.
If you have already been diagnosed with a lung nodule, commonly called a "spot on the lung", your doctor can refer you to our Lung Nodule Clinic in Martinsville or you are able to self refer. Click HERE to learn more about our Lung Nodule Clinic.