Early detection saves lives - Lung cancer screenings can improve outcomes

In Good Health, Screening, Topics

Smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths. About 80% of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking.

If you currently smoke or were ever a heavy smoker, your chances of developing lung cancer are 25 times higher than a non-smoker. However, if you do develop lung cancer, your chances of successful treatment and survival are much higher if the cancer is found early.

The Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Port Huron offers low-dose CT scans for lung cancer screenings. This test helps detect lung cancer in its earliest stages in those who are considered high risk by using a lower amount of radiation than a regular CT scan to image your lungs.

“As part of our comprehensive cancer services at McLaren Port Huron, we want to bring every opportunity for our patients to have advanced screening, diagnostics, and treatment for cancer,” says Dr. Matthew Johnson, radiation oncologist at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. “Lung cancer screening is particularly important for the local community because lung cancer is the second most common cancer in St. Clair County.”

You might be a candidate for a lung screening if you:

  • Are between the ages of 55 and 77
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Are a current smoker or former heavy smoker who has quit within the past 15 years
  • Have a 30+ pack-year tobacco smoking history (pack-years formula: number of years smoked x average number of packs per day = pack years)
  • Have not had a chest CT in the past 12 months
  • An order from your physician is required to schedule the screening. To receive an order for the screening, patients must meet with their physician to discuss potential risks, benefits, further work-up, and annual follow-up as a result of the low-dose CT scan. Talk with your physician to see if you are a candidate for the screening.

    Low-dose lung cancer screening is covered by Medicare and some private insurance plans. Check with your insurance provider to see if the cost of the test will be covered.

    For more information about low-dose CT lung cancer screening, call our Oncology Nurse Navigator at 810-989-1003.

    lung illustration