Detection And Prevention

The Premier Health lung cancer screening program provides a multidisciplinary approach for patients who are at a higher risk for developing lung cancer. Education on lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation are provided, as well as support from a nurse navigator, radiologists, and certified tobacco specialists.

The National Lung Screening Trial showed that lung cancer can be found at an early stage through low-dose chest CT when compared to screening by chest X-ray and can reduce the risk of dying. CT images provide more detailed 3-D information for physicians who are reading the scan when compared to 2-D images obtained by chest X-ray. A few benefits of low-dose chest CT, offered at Premier Health, include:

  • 20 percent reduction in lung cancer-related deaths
  • Six times less the radiation dose than regular chest CT
  • A dedicated clinical lung cancer screening team working with primary care physician partners

Screening Criteria

Our program is consistent with national guidelines of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and meets Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) criteria.

People who meet the following criteria should be considered for lung cancer screening:

  • Ages 55-77, plus:
    • Current smoker with a 30-pack year history (the number of packs a day multiplied by the number of years an individual smoked equal “pack years”)

      OR

    • A patient who has quit smoking within the last 15 years
    • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
    • Absence of other life limiting health conditions

What Your Patients Can Expect

  • Patient will undergo a shared decision-making visit with their primary care provider to discuss the risks and benefits of screening.
  • If the patient agrees to the screening, the provider sends a pre-authorized prescription to the lung cancer screening nurse navigator.
  • The nurse navigator contacts the patient for scheduling, a review of the screening process and tobacco cessation education support.
  • The patient will view an educational video either online prior to their appointment or with the nurse at the time of their appointment.
  • There is no prep for the CT scans, and patients may eat or drink non-alcoholic beverages as usual.
  • Comfortable clothing without metal should be worn; otherwise a patient gown will be provided.
  • The actual scan takes about 20 seconds.
  • Results are reported to providers within 24 to 48 hours to share with the patient (nurse navigators do not give results).
  • Patients can call nurse navigators with questions during the process.
  • Screening with low-dose chest CT is recommended for at least two years, sometimes longer

Contact Us

Premier Health offers an extensive network of experienced cancer specialists, close to home, who welcome your referrals. Find a cancer specialist best suited to your patient’s unique needs.

Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center.