Lung Cancer Screening
Gundersen Health System recommends annual lung cancer screening for individuals at high risk, including:
- Heavy smokers, age 55 years or older
- Patients who used to smoke heavily but have quit, age 55 years or older
For both groups, a yearly low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan is the only method proven to find lung cancers that have the best chance of a cure. If you wait until symptoms of lung cancer are present, there is a good chance that you have advanced disease.
Benefits of lung cancer screening
It is normal to have some questions about lung cancer screening. Start by talking to your doctor and reviewing these benefits:
- The radiation delivered during a lung screening CT scan is a low dose and very low risk.
- A low-dose CT scan of the lungs is much more accurate and reliable than an X-ray.
- As screening becomes mainstream, more patients are being diagnosed at earlier stages of the disease, when it is more treatable.
- Lung screening CT scans also provide a better way to identify non-cancerous lung nodules that do not need further action or procedures.
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies cover the low-dose chest CT scan for qualifying high-risk individuals. It is important to check with your health insurance provider to see if a lung screening is a covered benefit for you.
You will need to establish care with a Gundersen primary care provider, who will determine if you're eligible for this screening. Your provider will discuss the risks and benefits, and order the screening test if you are a candidate.
Existing patients schedule an appointment with your primary care provider
Establish a new primary care provider
Do you need help quitting?
Quitting smoking lowers your risk of getting and dying from cancer. Experts believe smoking causes 30 percent of all cancer deaths in this country.
Are you ready for a tobacco-free life? Learn about our smoking cessation programs and support groups. You can quit. We can help.