CT Lung Cancer Screening in the DC Area
Lung Cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the US, largely because it remains undetected until the patient has symptoms, which is usually at a later stage in the disease when treatment options are not as effective. Much like mammograms and colonoscopy screening tests, low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening is performed on patients who meet the risk guidelines and have no symptoms. The goal of screening is to detect abnormalities that may represent lung cancer before the disease progresses so that medical intervention can be most effective.
RIA centers are among the first in our area to have been designated as Lung Cancer Screening Centers by the American College of Radiology (ACR). This designation recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.
What is a CT Lung Cancer Screening?
CT Lung Cancer screening is a non-invasive way to quickly screen asymptomatic patients who are considered at risk for lung cancer. CT scans allow our radiologists to view nodules that may be too small to be seen on x-ray. Finding lung cancer early presents the best chance for surviving the disease.
For more information, please visit radiologyinfo.org.
Who’s a candidate for CT Lung Cancer Screening?
Asymptomatic patients age 55 – 80, who are current or former smokers with a smoking history of 30 pack years (i.e., one pack per day for 30 years; two packs per day for 15 years). Patients who may have been exposed to lung carcinogens such as radon, asbestos or coal smoke or have other risk factors should discuss with their physician if this test might be right for them.
Does Insurance Cover CT Lung Cancer Screening?
Many insurances, including Medicare, are now covering CT Lung Cancer Screening for patients who meet the screening criteria listed above. Please check with your insurance company to determine coverage. If your insurance does not cover the test our self-pay rate is $195.
Who recommends CT Lung Cancer Screening?
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Lung Association, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Society of Clinical Oncologists, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society and the American Cancer Society all now recommend that individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer consider beginning annual screening with Low Dose CT.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has also a final recommendation in favor of annual screening for patients at high risk for lung cancer. For more information, please visit the USPSTF site
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determination of coverage of Screening for Lung Cancer with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT). Please visit the CMS site for more info.
Smoking Cessation Resources
Quitting may be the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the quality and length of their lives. Many groups offer information about nicotine addiction and quitting smoking. Your local health department is a very good resource for no cost information and support services. Your insurance company may also be a valuable resource. RIA urges you to find a group that can help you quit the habit and improve your health. The American Cancer Society provides a Guide to Quitting Smoking that provides helpful information, and RIA provides this link to Smoking Cessation Resources for your use.