If you’ve been putting off getting your lung cancer screening, or haven’t gone because you think you won’t qualify for one, it’s time to schedule one now. Current statistics for lung cancer are alarming, especially when screenings and early detection can greatly improve survival rates when the cancer is caught at a treatable stage.
What You May Not Know About Lung Cancer
Statistics provided by the American Cancer Society show that in cancer deaths, lung cancer has the highest numbers with over 350 deaths per day. That is more than pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancer combined. Despite this, the American Lung Association reports that only 5.8% of eligible Americans have been screened for lung cancer.
These numbers are concerning, and highlight how underutilized lung cancer screenings are. It is estimated that approximately 8 million Americans are considered high risk for lung cancer.
Between 80% and 90% of lung cancer deaths are linked to smoking, but lung cancer can still happen in people who have never smoked in their lifetime. Exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, diesel exhaust, asbestos, arsenic, and radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can get into homes and buildings, can all contribute to lung cancer in non-smokers. Family history of lung cancer or DNA mutation can also cause lung cancer among non-smokers.
Who Qualifies for a Lung Cancer Screening?
Recommendations from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force suggests adults between the ages of 50 to 80 who still smoke or have quit in the past 15 years receive an annual low dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening each year. To read the full recommendation statement from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, click here.
Most insurances will cover the cost of a LDCT lung cancer screening, however, some may require prior authorization and “shared decision making”, or a physician referral. If you do not have insurance, Catholic Health can assist you in obtaining insurance or a referral for a screening.
Lung Cancer Screening at Catholic Health
LDCT screenings can improve the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more if lung cancer is caught before it spreads. Catholic Health offers LDCT screenings at many of our facilities across WNY, so you can get screened at a location convenient for you.
When you come to one of our facilities for a screening, our specialists use advanced state-of-the-art imaging equipment to provide comprehensive evaluations. We have the latest CT scanner technology available, as well as a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy platform that allows surgeons to obtain tissue for biopsies from deep within the lung, which normally is too narrow and difficult to navigate. This technology allows us to provide patients with a faster and more precise diagnosis, so they can begin treatment as soon as possible.
Don’t wait until it’s too late, get a screening and expert diagnosis when treatment is still effective. If you are ready to take the next step, call 716-314-8200 to speak with a representative about scheduling your LDCT lung cancer screening.