The UK Lung Cancer Screening Program offers low-dose CT screenings for patients who might be at risk for lung cancer, including smokers and former smokers.
Here are three things to know about lung cancer screening:
- Lung cancer screening has been shown to decrease the risk of lung cancer death in patients who are high-risk for developing cancer.
- A lung cancer screening CT scan can detect cancer before symptoms are noticeable and at an early stage when the cancer is in a localized area of the lung.
- When lung cancer is found early, many treatment options are available, which greatly improves the likelihood of survival.
The program brings together an experienced multidisciplinary team that includes a dedicated lung cancer screening coordinator, a smoking cessation specialist and physicians in pulmonary medicine, radiology, oncology, and thoracic surgery.
The UK Lung Cancer Screening Program team will work closely with your physician during the screening process and facilitate any additional testing or follow-up care that you may need should a cancer be found.
If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you can be referred to the multidisciplinary lung cancer clinic located at the UK Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky's only NCI-designated cancer center. Markey has nationally recognized physicians who are experts in the detection and treatment of lung cancer.
Lung cancer screening is recommended for patients who are at high risk for lung cancer. Low-dose CT screenings are recommended for patients who:
- Are ages 55-80.
- Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
- Have a 30 pack-year smoking history, meaning the patient smokes one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years, or two packs per day for 15 years.
- Have no current symptoms of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and it is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. It claims more lives each year than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined, and Kentucky has the highest rate of lung cancer in the country.
Lung cancer screening uses a low-dose CT scan, allowing health care providers to take pictures inside of the chest using the smallest amount of radiation necessary to identify potential cancers. The scan generally takes less than one minute. Only low dose CT scans are recommended for lung cancer screening. Chest x-rays are not recommended for lung cancer screenings.
A suspicious or positive result means that the CT scan shows something that is abnormal. This could mean lung cancer. It could also be a false positive, or something that looks like a cancer but is not, such as a scar or infection. If that is the case, you may need additional testing to determine why the CT scan is abnormal.
A negative result means that there were no abnormal findings at the time of the CT scan. It does not mean that you will never get lung cancer.
A lung cancer screening does not prevent lung cancer, but it can detect cancer before an individual develops symptoms of the disease. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to never smoke or stop smoking now. If you currently smoke, ask how we can help you quit.
Most medical insurance plans cover this screening. If you qualify for screening but it is not covered by insurance, we can provide the screening for $175.