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If you know you’re at high risk for lung cancer, you may have uncertainty and fear. As with any cancer, early detection for lung cancer is critical for successful treatment. Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) preventative screenings are for high-risk individuals who do not have symptoms of lung cancer. This highly effective screening method uses a low amount of radiation and only takes a few minutes to complete. Medicare and most private insurance cover the cost for qualifying patients.
Who needs screening?
You are considered at high risk for lung cancer if you:
- Are 50 to 77 and
- Have a history of smoking a pack per day for 20 years,
- Have quit smoking within the last 15 years,
- Have a family history of lung cancer,
- Have certain medical conditions.
National Lung Screen Trial findings show a 20% lower risk of dying from lung cancer when the LDCT is performed annually. If you are at high risk for lung cancer, a low-dose CT screening could save your life! Discuss your medical history and the risks and benefits of screening with your provider, who can order an LDCT following a risk assessment.
What happens during a Lung Cancer Screening?
During the screening, an LDCT scan creates a detailed 3-D picture of your lungs. This scan will expose you to a low dose of radiation. LDCT uses 75% less radiation than a traditional CT scan and does not require any needles or medicines.
The study will be reviewed and interpreted by a board-certified radiologist. Please note you may receive a separate bill from the radiologist. The report will be sent your provider and a nurse navigator will follow up on all positive results.
What are the benefits?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women in the United States. Kentucky has the highest rates of lung cancer. Patients usually show no obvious signs of lung cancer until it is in a late stage, when it is difficult to treat. Lung cancer screening can detect lung cancer early, when it is more treatable. Finding cancer early means more treatment options and a better chance for recovery.
Where do I go for cancer treatment?
Central Kentucky Cancer Care offers cancer treatment in Georgetown and Winchester. We are a proud partner of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, which provides our patients with enhanced access to high-quality cancer care. The Markey Affiliate Network assists doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical staff at local hospitals that provide excellent care in their communities. When patients need care that is not available locally, they can be referred to the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington. When that happens, Markey doctors work with CKCC doctors and oncologists to minimize travel for patients and their families.
The LDCT must have a provider referral for insurance coverage. Ask your provider for the risk assessment to see if you qualify for the screening. If you do not have a provider, call our physician referral line at 888.847.3627. The LDCT is offered at all four Central Kentucky Lifepoint facilities listed below. Your provider can refer you to the facility of your choice. In addition, if you would like further information on lung cancer screenings, call Miranda Harrison at 502.316.5895.