At its early stages, lung cancer generally has no symptoms. That’s why it’s important for people at risk for lung cancer to have annual lung screenings. They can help detect lung disease early, when it’s highly treatable.
Computerized Tomography (CT) is the scanning technology that’s used for lung cancer screenings. It’s an easy test that takes less than a minute and requires no specific medications or restrictions. You just have to hold your breath for about six seconds. As part of Mount Carmel’s Lung Program, a radiologist along with one or more of Mount Carmel’s experienced pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons reviews and interprets each CT scan.
Who's At Risk
Lung cancer screening is recommended for people who are considered to be at high risk for developing lung cancer. Those include:
- People between the ages of 55 and 74 who have smoked at least an average of 1 pack a day for 30 years
- People between the ages of 50 and 74 who have smoked at least an average of 1 pack a day for 20 years and have one other risk factor (a family cancer history or exposure to certain industrial chemicals, for example)
If you have symptoms of a lung condition at the time of your screening, such as a new cough or shortness of breath, you may not be eligible for screening since certain symptoms can affect the accuracy of the scan and may be a sign that you have a lung condition that should be evaluated and treated immediately.
Your Doctor's Referral
It’s important to talk with your doctor about your interest in a lung screening. Together, you can decide if it’s right for you. A physician referral is required.
Mount Carmel offers lung cancer screenings for just $99. Any additional testing you may need based on the results of the scan will be billed to your insurance company. If you do not have insurance or have other payment concerns, one of our financial counselors can discuss your payment options.
When the results of your scan are in, our Lung Program team will meet to review the results and make recommendations. We’ll then send those results to your primary care doctor and to you, along with any further information or follow-up recommendations.
If your scan shows up something abnormal, you may need additional testing. Most of the time these findings are small things like lung nodules, scarring or inflammation that are not a serious concern. In any event, you’ll want to go over the results with your doctor to decide what next steps or tests may be required.
Should you need additional information or follow-up, our Lung Nurse Navigators will be here for you, providing resources and support every step of the way.
To learn more about lung screening or the Mount Carmel Lung Program, call 614-546-4546.