McLaren Health Care
Low-Dose Lung Cancer Screening

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. However, lung cancer is also one of the most preventable cancers. The best way to prevent the disease is to quit smoking. Screening can also reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Fought at Karmanos

The Karmanos is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Karmanos is the only hospital in Michigan dedicated exclusively to fighting cancer. The Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at the Karmanos Cancer Center participating in this program includes surgeons, medical oncologists, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and research coordinators. The experts on this team focus primarily on the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and therefore have a level of expertise that other centers may not have. In addition, lung cancer screening may indicate further follow up that requires this level of expertise.

Lung Cancer Screening

Screening for lung cancer is a process, and cannot be completed with a single test. The data available show that individuals who do qualify for lung cancer screening should have a yearly screening CT scan. Physician Office visit - The screening process includes a visit with a Karmanos physician to discuss risks and benefits of lung cancer screening CT scans - Those who are eligible for the program (generally older adults who have at least a 30-pack-year smoking history) have annual low-dose CT scans. Scan review - A Karmanos radiologist will review the patient’s CT scans for abnormalities and track any yearly changes. We will send the patient’s primary health care provider copies of the results. Follow-up care - The radiologist may recommend follow up with either a Karmanos specialist or primary health care provider for further tests.

Low-Dose Lung Cancer Screening - LDCT

Take a proactive approach to manage your lung health. After discussion with your primary healthcare provider, you may qualify for early-stage lung cancer screening through McLaren imaging centers.

Using state-of-the-art technology, low-dose CT scans expose patients to less radiation compared to traditional CT scanners for our physicians to determine if there are signs of early lung cancer. As lung cancer is most treatable in the early stages, with these screenings we can detect lung cancer quicker, possibly even before the patient’s experience symptoms.

Screening is easy. It is a 20-second scan with no preparation.

These low-dose radiation CT scanners are the only proven-effective manner to screen for lung cancer by allowing physicians to identify small nodules and other abnormalities presented in the lung images.

To be eligible, patients must be the following:

  • Aged 55-77
  • Asymptomatic of lung cancer (NO symptoms, such as: fever, chest pain, new shortness of breath, new or changing cough, coughing up blood, or unexplained significant weight loss.)
  • A current or former smoker with at least a 30-pack-year history (20 cigarettes/pack): ___ x years smoked ____ = Pack Years:____)
  • Former smokers need to have quit within the last 15 years
  • A shared decision making visit, which must take place between the patient and the primary care provider. During this appointment, a physician will determine the patient's eligibility for annual LDCT, discuss the benefits and risks of screening, and provide related counseling. At this appointment, if it's determined a patient meets the requirements for a lung cancer screening, the provider can refer him or her for LDCT. 

Through CT scan screenings, early-stage lung cancer can be detected and then most likely removed by surgery. If later-stage cancer is detected, our physicians will begin treatment immediately to improve chance for effective outcomes. If during screening a questionable area is discovered, it can be closely monitored as well.

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