Swedish Medical Center in Denver, part of HealthONE, will soon offer a low-cost lung cancer screening program to the community as part of a system-wide effort.
Lung CT Scans Found to be More Effective in Detecting Lung Cancer than Chest X-rays
The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST), a randomized national trial supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), studied more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers and compared the effectiveness of detecting lung cancer using chest X-rays and low-dose CT scans.
The results, which were recently released in the New England Journal of Medicine, found 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among trial participants screened with CT scans.
This is the first time that a study has linked a screening to reducing mortality.
Lung cancer is typically diagnosed when it is in the later stages or stages when the disease has progressed so far that treatments are unsuccessful. To help detect lung cancer earlier in high-risk individuals, Swedish Medical Center and its off-site imaging partners will offer low-dose screening CT scans. The sooner cancer is detected the better chances are for long-term survival.
About CT Lung Scans at Swedish
Screening CT scans use a lower dose of radiation than a regular CT scan and are non-contrast (no intravenous (IV) contrast dye required). A CT scan is more sensitive than a normal X-ray image.
Appointments last about 30 minutes and are performed in the Radiology Department at Swedish or at its off-site imaging partner facilities. Results are read by a radiologist specializing in lung cancer and then sent to you and your doctor, if requested.
You should consider a lung screenings scan if meet all of the following criteria (Same as National Lung Screening Trial criteria):
- Men & women aged 55-74 years old
- Current or former smoker with at least 30 pack year history (1 pack-year = 20 cigarettes per day for one year)
- If former smoker, quit within the past 15 years
- Exclusions: Previous diagnosis of lung cancer, hemoptysis, unexplained weight loss >15 lbs. in the past year
Insurance coverage varies by plan and provider, Swedish Medical Center can submit charges to your insurance for review upon request.