People who are former smokers, smokers, exposed to secondhand smoke or have worked around materials that increase their risk for lung cancer should be aware of the lung cancer risk. These individuals should talk with their doctors about the benefits and risks of lung cancer screening. Some studies have shown that CT scans can find lung cancers at an early stage. In many cases, the scans can produce inconclusive findings. If you and your doctor decide in favor of testing, then be sure to choose an institution that has experience in lung scanning.
U-M offers a Lung Cancer Screening Clinic which is designed to meet the recommendation from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network to screen high risk patients. All CTs are read by board certified radiologists with special training in radiology of the lungs. Many of these radiologists were readers in the National Lung Screening Trial.
What Does the Screening Include?
The Screening Clinic process includes an initial CT scan, followed by an office visit at our Briarwood location, during which the results will be reviewed with you. You will need to have an additional two scans in consecutive years, for a total of three scans in three years. It is VERY important to understand that screening for lung cancer is a process, not a single test, so achieving the greatest reduction in your risk of dying from lung cancer requires that you be screened over time with these three CT scans, and follow up on any abnormalities.
Will My Insurance Cover the Cost?
The first CT scan will have an initial out-of-pocket cost and if it comes back clear, subsequent scans will also have a cost involved. If there is a nodule found, your future scans will be covered by insurance. The office visits should be covered by your insurance.
Not everyone who meets the initial criteria will be eligible for the clinic. Our team will help guide you as to whether screening can benefit you or not. The Lung Cancer Screening Questionnaire Form will help our team decide whether this screening is a benefit for you.
What are your thoughts about the current lung cancer screening recommendations? Please leave a comment or call the Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125 with any questions.