What is a Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening?

Low dose lung cancer screening is a CT (computed tomography) exam that is like an X-ray. Pictures of the lung are taken at a low radiation dose as you lie on a table that slides in and out of a machine. Low dose lung cancer screenings does not require any dyes or injections, and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Who is eligible for a lung cancer screening?

Update as of March 9th, 2021: The United States Preventive Services Task Force has issued an updated, final recommendation for CT lung cancer screening that lowers the starting age from 55 to 50 and adjusts smoking history from 30 pack-years to 20 pack-years. 

To be eligible for a lung cancer screening you must be between the ages of 50-80 in fairly good health AND:

  • Currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years AND
  • Have at least a 20 pack-year smoking history
  • To calculate your pack-year history, multiply the number of years you smoked by the number of packs of cigarettes per day

The updated lung cancer screening guidelines nearly doubled the number of people eligible for screening to 14.2 million in March of 2021, meaning many more lives could be saved.

Does insurance cover lung cancer screenings?

Low dose lung cancer screening is considered a preventative exam and is generally a covered exam for those that meet the eligibility requirements. Individuals that meet the eligibility requirements have no out of pocket cost associated with the screening exam.

How often should people get screenings?

Screenings are recommended annually unless there is an area of concern that requires more frequent observation.

Listen: Dr. Cheruvu’s Podcast with the American Lung Association on Lung Cancer Screenings

Where can you get a lung cancer screening?

Low dose lung cancer screening is available at Windsong’s five locations – Amherst, Buffalo, Lancaster, Hamburg, and  Williamsville. Windsong was named a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR), meaning our high quality lung cancer screenings help patients across Western New York find cancer early.

How can lung cancer screening help improve the health of Americans?

Over the last 10 years, mortality rates have decreased by 31% for men and 24% for women.

Read more about lung cancer screening in New York at State of Lung Cancer Report

  1. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death overall and among both men and women. In 2019, over 139,000 people died from lung cancer or 23% of all cancer deaths
  2. The unfortunate aspect of lung cancer screening is that it is not being done nearly as often as it should be. Mammograms have become very common and hopefully in time, lung cancer screening will as well. In 2020, only 5.7% of high-risk groups for lung cancer were screened in NY State.
  3. If lung cancer is caught early before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 59%
  4. This is compared to those diagnosed at a late stage of cancer where the 5-year survival rate is only 6%
  5. Patients who choose lung cancer screening are likely to be diagnosed at earlier stages than those who don’t get screened.
  6. In NY State, only 26.1% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage.

Schedule a Low Dose Lung Cancer Screening at Windsong Today

To request an appointment at any one of Windsong’s 5 low dose lung cancer screening centers, call 716.631.2500 or request an appointment online.

Making each patient a priority, every day