Lung Cancer Screening Program

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. Because lung cancer is often not found until it is at an advanced stage, nearly 71 percent of those who develop it will die from the disease. Early detection offers the best possibility for survivorship.*

At the Covenant Cancer Care Center, lung cancer screening is performed with state-of-the-art Low-Dose Computerized Tomography (LDCT). The LDCT exam is quick and painless, and is performed without using x-ray dye or contrast. Our program includes a team of caring specialty physicians and dedicated professionals.

The Covenant Lung Cancer Screening program has received American College of Radiology designation. This is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice, sate, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer. To receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of its lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure. Also required are procedures in place for follow-up patient care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs.

Lung Screening Exams
The purpose of a lung screening exam is to look for nodules or masses in the lungs of people who do not have symptoms but are at a greater risk for the disease. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer – increasing with the amount and length of time a person has smoked. Lung cancer screenings are recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force for:

  • Anyone 55-77 years of age and
  • Current smokers or former smokers who have quit in the last 15 years and
  • Heavy smokers with a history of 30 pack years or more
    A pack year = smoking an average of 1 pack of cigarettes per day per year (i.e., a 30 pack year = 1 pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years)

Lung screenings are not offered to people who have previously been diagnosed with lung cancer, have a pacemaker or have metal rods in their spine.

How often should I be screened?
Annually.

How do I schedule a lung screening exam?
Prior to scheduling, patients must have a written order from their physician. In addition, patients need to participate in a lung cancer screening, counseling and shared decision making appointment with a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner.

To schedule a screening exam or for more information, please contact Ann Werle, RN, BSN, CBCN, Nurse Navigator at 989.583.5014.

Additional Resources:

*American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures, 2014.