At this time, an LDCT scan is the only lung cancer screening tool that reduces the risk of dying from lung cancer. In fact, early detection by LDCT can decrease lung cancer mortality by 14 to 20 percent in high-risk populations.*
For more facts about screening, plus additional resources and tips for smoking cessation and reducing lung cancer risks, you can refer your patients or clients to Maine Lung Cancer Coalition’s general public site, at mainelungcancercoalition.org.
*American Lung Association
When it comes to lung cancer screening, every case is special. That’s where the shared decision-making visit comes in. This is your opportunity to have an open, honest conversation with your eligible patients about whether LDCT screening is the right for them. You should both walk away from the visit feeling confident that the decision to test or not to test was made mutually and based on the best information possible.
While LDCT has proven to be an extremely effective tool in determining the presence of lung cancer, it is not perfect. In the National Lung Screening Trail (NLST), about 4% of lung cancers were not detected at screening.*
*Massachusetts General Hospital
No. Evidence from studies is not yet strong enough to show that LDCT scans are beneficial in healthy adults who have never smoked, or current or former smokers with fewer pack-years of smoking than required.*
*American Cancer Society
There’s no question that tobacco use of any kind increases the risk of lung cancer; however, there are currently no randomized trials based on these specific risk factors. It is possible that future recommendations will be made, but screening simply cannot be recommended for other tobacco users at this time.*
*American College of Radiology
Even though younger smokers are at risk for developing lung cancer in the future, the incidence of lung cancer in these age groups is not high enough to outweigh the inherent risks of screening. Research is still determining if screening should be offered to younger smokers who have a higher lifetime exposure to cigarette smoke.*
*American Cancer Society
Qualified patients who meet the right criteria are eligible for annual LDCT screening covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as many health insurance companies.
For people who do not have insurance, certain state or local agencies may provide screening at no or a low cost.
It is recommended that yearly lung cancer screening stop when the person being screened turns 81 years old, has not smoked in 15 years, or develops a health problem that makes him or her unwilling or unable to have surgery if lung cancer is found.*
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention