In the U.S., lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer. Approximately nine in 10 cases are linked to smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, lung cancer is often discovered too late to be treated successfully. About 85 percent of victims die within five years of diagnosis.
Among these staggering statistics is a bit of good news. Lung cancer is the most preventable cancer. Innovations in diagnostic tools, technology and targeted therapies give health care providers the opportunity to save more lives.
Early Detection Is Critical
A screening is the first step to creating a comprehensive view of your health. By the time lung cancer is detected, the disease is often dangerously advanced. That’s why a fast diagnosis and having the opportunity to review treatment options quickly is so important.
Genesys Offers a Low-Dose CT Lung Screening
Genesys Cancer Care Services works to reduce preventable lung cancer deaths by offering a lung cancer screening program. National studies show a low-dose CT (computed tomography) lung screening can diagnose early-stage lung cancer, which can be treated more effectively.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends this screening tool for longtime smokers ages 55 to 80, who are at a higher risk for developing lung cancer. The tool can detect cancer long before symptoms are present, and it identifies the stage of cancer, which helps your physician determine the best course of treatment. Early diagnosis of lung cancer can reduce the risk of death by up to 20 percent.
“National studies show a low-dose CT (computed tomography) lung screening can diagnose early-stage lung cancer, which can be treated more effectively.”
The screening is noninvasive, is painless and takes just a few minutes. It provides a physician detailed and clear images of the lungs.
Are You at High Risk? Here Are the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s Factors:
• Age 55 to 80 (77 with Medicare)
• No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
• Smoked at least 30 pack years (one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years)
• Currently smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years
Others Who Can Benefit from the Screening Are People Who:
• Are age 50 or older with a 20+ pack year history and
• Have one additional risk factor (family history of lung cancer, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or exposure to certain carcinogenic substances)
Where to Get Your Screening
You have options for where to receive your screening. Talk with your primary care physician, who can provide the referral, if needed. The CT technology used at Genesys Regional Medical Center has an extremely low dose of radiation compared with other local outpatient centers.
The radiologists at Genesys will provide expert radiological interpretation, and patients receive a personalized, efficient screening. A thorough report and recommendation is sent to your primary care physician. For a screening with a positive result, an interdisciplinary lung nodule review is completed by a team of physicians. Patients then have immediate access to experts in the treatment of lung cancer.
Covered by Insurance
Most insurances cover all or most of the screening cost. Medicare will cover the screening annually for those who meet the criteria. A self-pay option is also available at Genesys.
Where to Start
The Patient Navigator at Genesys can provide details about the low-dose CT scan and will educate you about the benefits and risks of a lung cancer screening to help you make an informed decision. Call 810-678-9251 to learn more about your options and to schedule an appointment.