However, a 2010 national clinical trial showed that screening certain eligible smokers with a yearly Low Dose CT scan (LDCT) could reduce lung cancer deaths by more than 20%.
A Low Dose CT scan is like a regular CT scan, but is designed specifically to look for early signs of lung cancer that show up as tiny nodules in the chest. If these nodules are caught early enough by regular screening, they can be treated effectively with better outcomes. A Low Dose CT also has a much lower dose of radiation than a normal CT scan, so it is safe to have this test every year for screening purposes. Eligible smokers and ex-smokers should get a yearly Low Dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer. The health benefits shown in the clinical trial only holds for those individuals who continue with the annual screening - this is not a one-time test, but instead is a yearly screening program for your continued wellness.
Thomas Health has three accredited Designated Lung Cancer Screening Centers that have offered Low Dose CT scans for the past several years. Medicare and most insurance plans now cover this screening exam if you are a smoker or ex-smoker who meets certain eligibility requirements.
You can visit Saved by the Scan to learn more about your personal risk of lung cancer and your eligibility for the screening program based on your smoking history. If you qualify, visit your primary care provider to get an order for your Low Dose CT. Please print our referral form and take it with you to your doctor’s appointment to discuss eligibility requirements for the screening. Your scan can be performed at your choice of our three Thomas Health locations: Saint Francis Hospital, Thomas Memorial Hospital or Thomas Imaging Center. For more information, call 304.766-3850.