Low Dose CT Lung Screening

Lung Cancer FactsCouple enjoying the view after exercising

Lung cancer is responsible for 1 out of every 3 cancer deaths and is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and women. While heavy smokers are at the greatest risk for the disease, 60% of lung cancer patients are individuals who never smoked or who quit decades ago. Only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed at their earliest, most curable stages. If caught early, patients can increase their treatment options while improving their outcomes and survival rate.

A recent study by the National Cancer Institute revealed encouraging news. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), which consisted of 53,000 smokers and ex-smokers, showed that by using low dose CT to screen for lung cancer instead of a chest X-ray, deaths from lung cancer could be reduced by 20% over just five years.

A low dose CT lung screening exam is now being offered at AMI AtlantiCare. Recent studies have shown that screening current and former heavy smokers reduced their risk of dying from lung cancer by 20%. Are you a candidate for a low dose CT lung screening?


Where can I get the low dose CT screening? How do I make an appointment?

The study is available at all AMI AtlantiCare locations. All patients will need to obtain a referral for the low dose CT lung screening from their healthcare provider. To schedule an appointment please call us at: (609) 878-9279.

The low dose CT lung screening scan is covered by most insurances based on the criteria below:

Patient Criteria for Low Dose CT Lung Screening Program

MEDICARE:

  • Age: 55-77
  • Smoking History: 30+ pack year history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years

AMERIHEALTH:

  • Age: 55-80
  • Smoking History: 30+ pack year history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years

OTHER INSURANCES: *

  • Age: 50-80
  • Smoking History: 20+ pack year history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years

* This covers Aetna, Aetna Next Gen, Cigna, GEHA, GHI, Horizon Braven Health, Horizon – MGM Borgata, Horizon Alabama (OOS), Horizon NJ Health/Totalcare, Horizon OOS Plans, Horizon, Oxford, UHC Community Plan, Sierra Health, United Healthcare, United Healthcare Medicare (Will continue to update as needed.)


What should I expect?

An initial positive screening test does not necessarily mean you have lung cancer, as most growths are benign. However, if the radiologist detects a growth that raises concern, you may be asked to return for a diagnostic CT exam. In some instances you may be asked to return periodically to recheck a mass that is not suspicious to make sure that it remains unchanged. Charges for the diagnostic scan and for any additional tests that may be needed will usually be covered by insurance. If your scan is normal, you may wish to obtain a repeat study in one year.


Is it okay to continue smoking now that there is a screening test available?

No. Tobacco is one of the strongest cancer-causing agents. Tobacco use causes many different types of cancers, including lung cancer, as well as chronic lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. The damage caused by smoking is cumulative and the longer a person smokes, the higher the risk of disease. Quitting smoking is hard, but there are many proven treatments that can help.


Who should get a low dose CT lung screening?

The low dose CT lung screening exam is for patients 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Patients will need a script from their healthcare provider indicating LOW DOSE CT LUNG SCREENING.


How much radiation is used during the exam?

The dose is less than the amount of background radiation a person receives each year living at sea level. Your additional lifetime cancer risk at age 55 from the low dose CT screening is approximately 0.004%, which is extremely low.

Smoking Cessation Resource Guide

Quitting smoking is hard, but it is the single most important step a smoker can take to improve the length and quality of his or her life. There are many proven treatments that can help. Information about stopping smoking is available from a number of resources. Below is a partial list of commonly used resources. AMI AtlantiCare is providing this list as a general resource guide only. Please consult your healthcare provider for specific information.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
www.cancer.org
800-227-2345

AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION
www.freedomfromsmoking.org
1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872)

SMOKE FREE. GOV
www.smokefree.gov
1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)

QUITNET
www.quitnet.net

ATLANTICARE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
www.atlanticare.org
888-569-1000

INFORMATION ABOUT SMOKING CESSATION AIDS
www.quitsmoking.about.com

AAt AMI AtlantiCare, we believe it is important for you to quit smoking. While it is never too late to quit smoking, the sooner a person quits the better. If you enroll in a smoking cessation program or take steps to quit smoking by using a smoking cessation aid, AMI AtlantiCare will reimburse participants $25. For more information, please call 609-653-6708.