What is a Low Dose CT Lung Screening?
A Low Dose CT Scan is a painless and noninvasive procedure that can detect very small nodules in the lung, and is especially effective for diagnosing lung cancer when it is in its earliest, most treatable stage.
To receive the full benefit of screening, you should be screened on an annual basis until you no longer meet the eligibility requirements.
Who should be Screened?
If any of the following apply, you should discuss with your physician and consider having a Low Dose Computed Tomography (CT) Lung Screening:
- You are 50 years of age, currently smoke or have quit smoking within the last 15 years
- You have a family history of lung cancer
- You have risk factors, such as prolonged exposure to asbestos or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- You have a tobacco smoking history of at least 20 pack-years*
*To calculate pack-years, multiply the number of packs of cigarettes smoked a day by the number of years that you smoked.
Is my Screening Covered by Insurance?
If you meet eligibility requirements, Low Dose CT Lung Screenings are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.
Are There Risks Associated with Low Dose CT Lung Screenings?
The amount of radiation from a Low Dose CT Scan is about the same as an average person receives in six months from natural background radiation, so there is minimal risk of any effects from radiation exposure.
In some instances, a test may appear to be abnormal, but no lung cancer is present. This is called a false positive finding. These findings may require additional testing to determine whether cancer is present.
What Happens After My Scan?
The Radiologist will review your scan and provide a report, including follow-up recommendations, to your referring Physician. Your results will be available to you on Health Link, Heritage Valley’s secure patient portal, and a copy of the report will be mailed to you.
If an abnormality is detected, our Physicians will quickly provide you with various treatment options. Our LungCare Pulmonologists set aside time each week for patients with abnormal diagnoses, and work collaboratively with the patient’s Primary Care Physician. They also meet weekly with Oncologists to discuss every potential cancer diagnosis.
We know that time saves lives, so we provide a quick and seamless transition from screening to diagnosis to treatment. Follow-up testing and care is conveniently provided within Heritage Valley Health System, enabling us to make certain that our patients receive the personalized care they need in a timely manner.
Centers of Excellence
The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer and the UPMC Health Plan have both designated all three of our campuses (Heritage Valley Beaver; Heritage Valley Kennedy; Heritage Valley Sewickley) as Screening Centers of Excellence.
Please see your physician for an order for a Low Dose CT Lung Screening, and call 1-866-901-IMAG (4624) to schedule your appointment.
If you have questions regarding Heritage Valley’s LungCare program, please contact our LungCare Navigator at 724-773-2071, or click here to complete the online form.