Lung Cancer Screening Program
Lung cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms, which makes regular screenings (if you’re eligible) vitally important. It also increases the likelihood of catching lung cancer in its earlier and more treatable stages. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States; deaths that could potentially be prevented by early detection through lung cancer screening. Siteman Cancer Center is committed to lowering the risk of death from lung cancer, while minimizing the potential harms that can occur after lung cancer screening. Our carefully designed program includes the following:
- Encouragement of screening only for those likely to benefit
- Follows U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and American College of Radiology guidelines on lung cancer screening
- Dedicated Nurse Navigator to assist patients and their health care providers throughout screening and follow-up
- Interpretation by dedicated thoracic radiology subspecialists at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
- Standardized reporting using the American College of Radiology Lung-RADSTM system
- Same day or next morning screen interpretation
- Negative results mailed to patient and primary care provider
- Abnormal results phoned and mailed to patient and primary care provider by dedicated Nurse Navigator
- Automatic referral to a Washington University thoracic surgeon for monitoring and management of abnormalities possibly due to lung cancer
- Emphasis on smoking cessation
Yearly lung cancer screening: Is it right for me?
Frequently asked questions
Who can get screened for lung cancer?
- If you are 55-80 years old and have a smoking history of 30 pack years or more, you can get screened for lung cancer.
Examples of at least a 30 pack year smoking history
1 pack per day for 30 years 2 packs per day for 15 years 3 packs per day for 10 years
- If you have smoked this amount or more, you may be eligible for lung cancer screening.
- You can get screened even if you quit smoking, as long as you quit in the past 15 years.
What are the costs of a lung cancer screen?
Medicare currently covers the costs of lung cancer screening for eligible patients, as do many private insurance companies. In some cases you may have to pay a portion of the costs, information our staff can check before your scan.
What if my results are abnormal?
Your results will be read by our world-class physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. And should your results require further assessment, you have access to Siteman Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary team who can provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment options.
Are there risks associated with the screening?
As with any scan of this kind, you will be exposed to some radiation, which has the potential for health risks. However, because our team uses a low-dose CT scan, there is less exposure than with traditional tests. It’s important to discuss these risks and other risks with your doctor.
What are low-dose CT lung scans?
A low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) image takes many pictures of your lungs, so a specialist can scan the images for cancer. Because this type of scan is “low-dose,” it uses reduced amount of radiation as compared to other CT imaging. During the scan, which takes about a minute, you’ll lie on a table while a technician performs the test. There are no needles used or contrast dyes used.
Anne Stilinovic, RN, BSN, 314-574-1124, for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital and Siteman – South County Ellen Brennan, RN, BSN, 636-916-7098, for Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Progress West Hospital
Are you ready to quit smoking?
Quitting smoking lowers your risk of getting lung cancer and other diseases of the lungs, heart, blood, and brain.
You can get FREE help quitting, at:
- Tobacco Quitline: Individual telephone counseling, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
- On-Line Quit Plan: Supportive texts, smartphone application, and calendar, smokefree.gov.
- Washington University Center for Smoking Cessation, 314-747-QUIT (7848) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- American Cancer Society Quit For Life Program, 1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE (1-866-784-8454)