Lung Cancer Screening Program 

Lung Cancer Screening Program

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.

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), run by The National Cancer Institute, compared two ways of detecting lung cancer - through 3 annual low-dose, helical CT scans and standard chest X-ray. The findings revealed that participants who received low-dose helical CT scans had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer than participants who received standard chest X-rays.

Lung Cancer Screening Center

Based on this study, physicians at Karmanos Cancer Center developed the Lung Cancer Screening Program centered around offering a yearly CT scan for those who are at an increased risk of lung cancer.

If you have a patient who may be at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, or fits the demographics described below, you can refer them to our Lung Cancer Screening Program.

  • Adults aged 50-80.
  • Current smokers or former smokers, who have a 20 pack per year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
  • The NLST found that smokers in this age group are most likely to benefit from screening.

Karmanos follows USPSTF guidelines for Lung Cancer Screening.

Go2 Foundation certification

How Lung Cancer Screening Program works

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 provider, a lung cancer specialist, to discuss risks and benefits of lung cancer screening
  • CT scans - Those who are eligible for the program 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.

Is this covered by insurance?

  • Lung Cancer Screening is covered by Medicare for patients 55-77 years old and most commercial insurance plans cover it for patients 55-80 years old. Typically, there is no out-of-pocket cost for low-dose CT lung screening, but confirm with your health insurance provider.
  • Patients will be responsible for any deductible and/or co-pay, per their insurance policy.
  • If an abnormality is found, future scans and further workup should be covered by insurance.

Why should I refer my patient to the Lung Cancer Screening Program?

Karmanos is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and 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. 

How to refer your patient

Lung Cancer Screening Form

Quitting Smoking Resources

Karmanos offers recommended resources to help individuals quit smoking. Click here to access these resources.

More information

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