Lung Screening

CT Lung Screening for the Detection of Cancer

The CT Lung Screening is a non-invasive CT scan that can detect abnormalities and lung cancer in its earlier, more curable stages using a new technique called helical low-dose CT scanning. The screening is far more accurate in finding lung tumors than a chest x-ray, the traditional diagnostic tool. It can find lung cancers when they are as small as the diameter of a soda straw, as compared with a chest x-ray that finds them when they are about the size of a quarter.

Why is there a need? What are the benefits?

Lung cancer is widely known to be the third most common form of cancer in the United States but is also the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

In 2013 alone, the National Cancer Institute estimated that approximately 220,000 new cases of lung cancer were discovered, and that lung & bronchus cancer accounted for more than 150,000 deaths. (That’s more than the number affected by colon, breast & prostate cancers COMBINED). The majority of cases are diagnosed at a very late stage, which offers a low survival rate of only 5 years after diagnosis.

Like mammograms have done for breast cancer, a CT Lung Screening offers you and your provider the opportunity to catch any concerns at a much earlier stage. This gives your provider time to make informed decisions and offers you a wider variety of treatment options than what may otherwise have been available to you. The CT Lung Screening is being hailed as the next advancement in preventative care and is receiving support from organizations and medical societies nationwide.

Is this exam covered by insurance?

Medicare and most insurance companies are now covering this exam for eligible, “high-risk” patients once per year as part of their preventative services offerings. Check with your insurance provider for specific coverage information.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • Between the ages of 50-77
  • Show no signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Smoked the equivalent of one pack per day for 20 years

 An order from your healthcare provider is also required.

What should I expect from the exam?

There are no dyes, no needles, no fasting, and no pain. There is absolutely no advanced prep needed for this exam. After a brief medical history questionnaire is completed upon your arrival, a technologist will assist you into the machine – which is generally thought to be open and not claustrophobia-inducing. The scan will take less than 15 minutes, and consist of a series of pictures taken while you hold your breath at very short intervals.

How much radiation is used?

Ultrafast CT Lung Screenings are considered a low-dose procedure, using less than 3 mGy. This is the equivalent to what you receive naturally from the earth in less than 6 months. In fact, the National Cancer Institute assesses the risk of not having the exam is 400% greater than the radiation risk.

Why should I choose Radiology Regional?

Radiology Regional is an experienced and trusted leader in Southwest Florida’s diagnostic healthcare. Our physicians and technologists are skilled in the use of CT technology for both screening and diagnostic purposes.