Lung Cancer Screening Program
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. PIH Health offers a lung cancer screening exam that helps identify cancer before the patient starts to experience symptoms. When a patient experiences symptoms, that means that the cancer is in later stages and is harder to treat. The screening exam, low-dose computed tomography (LDCT),
is approved for patients who have a high-risk of developing lung cancer. Studies have shown that having a yearly LDCT scan can help reduce the risk of lung cancer death by 20%.
Who Should be Screened for Lung Cancer?
An annual LDCT scan is recommended for the following patients:
- Those ages 55 to 80; and
- Current smoker or has quit smoking within the last 15 years; and
- Has a smoking history equivalent to one pack per day for 30 years
What is the Lung Cancer Screening Process?
On the day of your exam, you will meet with our nurse navigator 30 minutes prior to your scan to ensure all your questions and concerns are addressed.
The exam itself will take less than 60 seconds and no medications or needles are used. You will be asked to lie still on a table and hold your breath for 10 seconds while the scan is taken of your chest. An X-ray machine will take images from many angles and a computer will assemble them into a detailed picture. You will be allowed to eat before and after the exam.
After the exam, your scans will be read by one of our radiologists. The radiologist will view the X-rays to see the size, shape and location of anything abnormal in the chest area. The final results will be provided to you and your primary physician within five days of the exam.
See Daniel Saket MD explain the entire process on American Health Journal:
Daniel Saket MD
What if a Nodule is Discovered by the Screening Exam?
If a nodule is found in your lungs, it does not necessarily mean that you have lung cancer. Many people have benign or non-cancerous nodules. If you do have nodules, you will be closely monitored in alignment with national screening guidelines.
If a nodule is found that is suspicious for cancer, we will work with your primary physician to ensure you see a lung specialist called a pulmonologist. Additional tests will be performed to determine if you have lung cancer. These additional exams are usually covered by your health insurance. Our nurse navigator will serve as a resource and assist you through the entire process.
What if No Nodules are Discovered by the Screening Exam?
You will continue to receive annual scans until you no longer meet the high-risk criteria. This is important because even if you have a negative scan, it does not mean that you are no longer at risk for developing lung cancer. It is important to receive follow-up care annually.
What is the Cost?
Most private health insurance plans and Medicare (up to age 77) cover the cost of the procedure for qualified individuals. If you would like to know if you qualify for a screening, contact the PIH Health Lung Cancer Screening Program at 562.967.2892.
Why choose PIH Health?
The PIH Health Lung Cancer Screening Program is a Lung Cancer Alliance Screening Center of Excellence and is an American College of Radiology Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center. We offer:
- Compliance with quality standards for screening procedures
- Latest technology and minimally invasive surgery options
- Compassionate, attentive care every step of the way
Smoking is the biggest risk factor to developing lung cancer. If you are ready to quit smoking and decrease your risk, visit our Health Library for more information about quitting smoking.
If you have questions about being screened for lung cancer or would like additional information, contact the PIH Health Lung Cancer Screening Program at 562.967.2892