The low-dose lung cancer screening program offered by the Tate Cancer Center at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center evaluates those considered at high-risk for developing lung cancer from smoking. A study by the National Cancer Institute and the National Lung Screening Trial found that low-dose screening CT scans reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by 20%.
Who should be screened?
According to the guidelines of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), screening candidates should:
- Be between 55-77 years of age
- Be asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer)
- Have at least a 30 pack-year history (1 pack year = smoking one pack per day for one year; 1 pack = 20 cigarettes)
- Be a current smoker or have quit in the last 15 years
Other high risk factors may allow younger patients for imaging evaluation, such as occupational exposure, prior cancer history, family history of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc.
Private insurance companies may have different screening guidelines, so please check with your personal insurance carrier for their criteria.
What are the components of a low-dose lung screening?
The screening for lung cancer is done using non-invasive, low-dose CT technology. It is performed by a radiology technologist and takes less than 15 minutes to complete. No blood work, nor intravenous contrast is needed. A physician referral is required.
When are screening results available?
All lung CT results are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team here at UM BWMC that includes a thoracic surgeon, pulmonologist and radiologist. Results are provided directly to the referring physician to be discussed with the participant.
Where are the screenings offered and how can I sign up?
Low-Dose Lung Cancer Screening CT is offered at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center (301 Hospital Drive in Glen Burnie). Physicians wanting to schedule a patient or patients that have already received a referral for the screening from their physician should call UM BWMC’s Department of Radiology at 410-787-4633.
What is the cost?
This procedure is now covered by Medicare and most private insurance companies. Please check with your insurance provider to determine coverage.