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Odessa Lung Screening Program

Lung Cancer Screening Saves Lives

The lung cancer screen is just one of the many ways we can help you live longer with a better quality of life. Data from the American Cancer Society shows that an American is diagnosed with lung cancer every 2.5 minutes, and every three minutes someone will die from lung cancer. About 60percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer will die within one year, and 75 percent of people diagnosed will die within two years. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, as it kills more people than breast, colon, and prostate cancer combined.

Facts About Low-Dose Lung CT

CT stands for “computed tomography” and is a type of x-ray used when doctors need a detailed look at a specific part of your body. Any exposure to radiation carries some risk. Lung cancer screening uses low-dose radiation, which is about one-quarter the dose of a regular CT scan. This dose is about the same as having 30 chest x-rays.

“Low-dose” means the CT scan uses very little radiation and results in minimal negative effects to your body. The amount of radiation is similar to your exposure to radiation during an airplane flight. The screening is helpful in detecting early-stage lung cancer before you experience any symptoms. A National Lung Cancer Screening Trial proved screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT reduces the risk of lung cancer death by 20percent. This is similar to results for breast cancer screening with mammograms.

Low-dose CT technology can help in the early detection of many types of lung disease, including lung cancer. Lung cancer screening can sometimes result in follow-up exams, such as bronchoscopy or needle biopsy, and additional costs. Your doctor will manage follow-up if you require further testing.

While screening exams can detect some cancers, there are instances of false positives (scan is abnormal, but no cancer is present) or false negatives (scan appears normal even though cancer is present).

What should I know before my CT scan?

  • Continue taking regular medications.
  • There are no restrictions on food or drink.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Dress in comfortable clothing.
  • You may have to change into a hospital gown if there is metal in your clothing, such as in a bra or a zipper.
  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home.

Who is eligible for screening?

  • Adults age 55 to 77 years of age with a smoking history
  • Current cigarette smokers
  • 30 pack year smoking history
  • Former cigarette smokers who have quit within the past 15 years

What Does the Screening Cost?

Medicare and most private insurance companies cover this exam. Please contact your insurance provider for specific fees. The fee includes the CT scan and the interpretation by a board-certified radiologist.

How Do I Stop Smoking?

Medical Center Health System has a team of dedicated smoking cessation experts ready to help you.

For additional information, contact: Nelly Ulate, MSN, RN at (432) 640-1578. A physician order is required.