Detecting Lung Cancer Early

Are You a Candidate for Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) Screening?

Trident Medical Center offers Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) screenings for patients who meet specific criteria to enhance early detection of lung cancer and to reduce mortality among smokers.  Lung screening examinations are tests performed to find disease before symptoms begin, with a goal of detecting disease at its earliest and most treatable stage. Using LDCT sans to screen smokers for lung cancer reduces the risk of death by 20 percent versus those screened by a chest x-ray, according to a National Cancer Institute study.  For high risk individuals, the benefits of early detection far exceed the risks of low-dose radiation.

Screening Criteria

High risk individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Be asymptomatic. You should not experience coughing blood or wheezing, and must not be diagnose with sever pulmonary disease.
  • Age 55 – 77 years old.
  • Have at least a 30-pack-a-year smoking history.
  • Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Physician Order and Discussion

To participate in the screening you must make an appointment with your primary care physician to have a Shared Decision Making session.  Your physician will explain the risks and benefits of the study.

What to Expect During the Procedure

During the LDCT procedure you will lie flat on the exam table.  Pillows may be used for comfort to help you maintain the correct position and to help you remain still during the exam.  You will be asked to hold your arms over your head.  Next, the table will move through the scanners to the correct starting position for the scans. While you hold your breath for five to 10 seconds, the table will move through the machine as the LDCT scan is one.

Q & A

Q.
Will my insurance cover the procedure?
A.
LDCT screenings are covered under most insurance plans, and typically do not require a co-pay. Check with your insurance provider to be sure.
Q.
What happens if my results are negative?
A.
If a negative study is performed, meaning no pulmonary nodules or disease is found, a letter will be sent to your ordering physician, including a report explaining the results. Your physician will follow-up with your regarding the outcome.
Q.
What happens if my results are positive?
A.
If a lung nodule is found on our LDCT scan, a letter will be sent to you and your physician with the report attached. Your doctor may recommend a follow-up CT scan, usually six months later to check that the nodule has not grown.  In the unlikely case that the nodule does grow or present a worry, your doctors may recommend further testing using a PET scan or a biopsy (taking out a small piece of the nodule).  Remember, lung cancer screenings is not a single test.  It is a process that must be done correctly under the direction of your doctor(s).  Trident Medical Center has a multi-disciplinary team of doctors who specialize in acute care if further testing is needed.

For More Information

For more information or questions regarding the LDCT screening, contact Angelina Hendon, Trident Medical Center Low-Dose Lung Screening Navigator, at (843) 847-4015.

Central Scheduling

Phone:  (877) 357-0156