According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Never smoking or stopping smoking is the best way to prevent lung cancer. Recent studies done on subjects with higher risk of lung cancer showed a twenty percent decrease in lung cancer-related mortality by early detection of lung cancer by a low dose CT scan.
The goal of lung screening is to detect lung cancer at a very early stage — when it’s more likely to be cured. Studies show lung screening reduces the risk of dying of lung cancer.
People who would benefit most from lung screening include:
- People between the ages of 55 and 80, current or past smokers, and smoked a pack a day for 30 or more years;
- People between the ages of 50 and 80, a current or past smokers, and smoked a pack a day for 20 or more years
AND have at least one of the following:
- Lung cancer more than five years ago and have been cured
- A father, mother, sister or brother with history of lung cancer
- Been told they have chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema or exposure to asbestos
The screening process starts with a simple phone call with a nurse. This first step determines whether a patient would qualify for the screening. If the patient qualifies, a face-to-face visit is arranged, and the screening is discussed in more detail. Depending on that conversation, the pulmonary specialist may order a CT scan.
Most patients are referred by their primary care provider, and self-referrals are accepted. Call 507-434-1622 to schedule an appointment. Patients are encouraged to contact their insurance company for coverage options before scheduling an appointment.