Story by: Rebecca Hall on November 8, 2021
Are you a current or former smoker who’s thinking about getting a lung cancer screening? Maybe you have an appointment scheduled, or you’re awaiting results.
At any of these stages, you likely have questions.
Norton Cancer Institute lung screening patient navigator and nurse Connie Buckley, R.N., AE-C, is dedicated to coordinating your screening, providing follow-up, answering your questions and scheduling any additional care you may need. Here are four common questions she receives from patients about lung cancer screenings.
Should you or your loved one get a lung cancer screening?
You will begin the process by talking with your primary care provider to ensure you qualify for a screening. Your primary care provider’s office then will order and schedule the lung cancer screening. After your screening, a board-certified radiologist will review your scan. If an abnormality is found, your physician may recommend you see one of the lung specialists with the Norton Cancer Institute Comprehensive Lung Center.
Your physician or the lung screening navigator will give you the results of your scan, usually within five days. If you have an abnormal screening, you will be notified by phone, and immediate arrangements will be made for a doctor specializing in lung cancer treatment to meet with you. If you have not received your results after 10 days, please call your physician.
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Annual follow-up lung computed tomography (CT) scans are covered by Medicare and private insurance companies for people ages 55 to 77 who are current smokers or former smokers who quit less than 15 years ago and have no symptoms of lung cancer and have a 30 pack-year history of smoking. Check with your insurance company if you have any questions about your benefit plan.
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The lung cancer screening CT uses a lower dose of radiation than a conventional CT scan. It is quick, painless and does not involve IV injections. This screening CT rapidly takes scans from all angles around the chest, giving hundreds of detailed images of the lungs. It can spot tiny abnormalities that often are too small to be seen on a standard chest X-ray.
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