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Cancer Institute

Lung Cancer Screening

Lung Cancer Screening at Allegheny Valley Hospital

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer claims an estimated 160,000 American lives each year. Most of the diagnosed cases of lung cancer are found in advanced stages, which are less likely to be treated successfully. A randomized clinical trial conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Prevention produced results that showed screening current and former heavy smokers with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans reduced their risk of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent.

What is screening?
Screening means testing for a disease when there are no associated symptoms of the disease. Screening for lung cancer can result in early detection of the disease, increasing the likelihood of a better outcome and survival.

What is low-dose CT Lung Screening?
The low-dose CT lung screening is a test to detect lung cancer in its early stages. These screenings use less than one fourth of the radiation of a regular diagnostic CT scan. The scan is completed during a single breath hold of five to ten seconds. No IV contrast injection is required for this scan.

Who should get a low-dose CT Lung Screening?
This exam is for individuals who are at high risk for developing lung cancer. You might be at high risk if you are:

  • 55-74 years old and smoked more than one pack per day for 15-30 years
  • A former smoker who quit smoking in the past 15 years
  • A current smoker with no present symptoms suggestive of lung cancer

Is low-dose CT Lung Screening covered by insurance?
At the present time, insurers do not cover the screening. Individuals wishing to have the screening should expect to pay out-of-pocket at the time of service. The charges total approximately $200 for the screening.

Who will interpret and get my test results?
The scan will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist. The results will be shared with you, the physician who ordered your screening CT scan, and/or any additional physician you choose. The radiologist can work together with your ordering physician to determine the best course of action based on the findings. This might include a follow up CT lung scan in six months to a year, a referral to a pulmonologist (lung doctor), thoracic surgeon (lung surgeon), and/or oncologist (cancer doctor).

Allegheny Valley Hospital is pleased to provide community lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals. For more information about the program, please contact AVH Radiological Imaging at 724.224.1840.

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