St. Francis Launches Lung Cancer Screening Program
In an effort to detect lung cancer early for high risk, current and ex-smokers, St. Francis Hospital is now offering low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans. The annual screenings are covered by most major insurance plans, including Medicare, if patients meet the following criteria:
- Are between the ages of 55 to 77
- Have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years
- Fit the profile above and currently smoke or have quit with the last 15 years
- Get a referral from their primary care physician
- Have no symptoms or history of lung cancer
“Until the recent use of these low-dose CT scans, lung cancer typically wouldn’t be found until a person exhibited symptoms, making it more difficult to treat,” says Richard Bizelia, Administrative Director of Imaging Services at St. Francis, who co-directs the program with Steven Cabble, Director of the Cancer Institute and Pharmacy.
Experts say a low-dose CT lung cancer screening is one of the easiest exams you can take. There are no medications or needles involved. You just have to be able to hold your breath for at least six seconds while the chest scan is being taken.While there is a 25 percent chance that a nodule will be detected from a lung screening, most nodules are benign. Still, patients are advised to always follow up with their primary care physician after getting the results.For more information about the St. Francis Lung Cancer Screening Program, call (516) 563-7115.