Early detection is a proven, successful strategy for fighting many forms of cancer. Samaritan Medical Center is now the first hospital in the North Country to offer low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for people at high risk for lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States. Because lung cancer has no symptoms in its early stages, more than 85 percent of the men and women who are diagnosed with lung cancer today are diagnosed in a late stage, after symptoms occur and when there is very little chance of cure.
Samaritan's Early Lung Cancer Screening program can give you that chance. According to International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP) research, a CT scan can find 85% of lung cancers in their earliest, most curable stage.
Individuals who may benefit from the Early Lung Cancer Screening program are current or former smokers who are:
• Between the ages of 55-74 AND a 30 pack-year smoker*
• Over the age of 50, a 20 pack-year smoker*, AND have one other risk factor for lung cancer
*pack-years = the average number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years a person has smoked. For example, a 30 pack-year smoker may have smoked 1 pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years.
If you believe you meet the above criteria, then call 315-782-7001 (no physician referral necessary). The program coordinator will help guide you through the process using National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines.
• If the criteria are met, you will be scheduled for a low-dose CT scan of your lungs.
• Payment is due at the time of your appointment. During your appointment and prior to your CT scan, a physician will conduct a brief medical screening, confirm the recommendation for the CT scan, and complete the necessary paperwork, including having you sign a waiver/consent form.
• Once your CT scan is complete, follow-up will be done within 2 business days with results and recommended next steps.
The Early Lung Cancer Screening CT scan is not covered by health insurance. The cost for this service must be paid by the patient. The flat rate, out-of-pocket cost for the CT scan is $200, which is due at the time of your appointment. Follow up care and tests required for further evaluation of an abnormal CT scan, based on medical necessity, are usually covered by insurance.
Take a positive step to safeguard your health. If you think you qualify for Early Lung Cancer Screening and would like to take advantage of this program, please call 315-782-7001 today.