Beaumont Health System offers $50 lung cancer screening program

1/21/2014

CT imaging can detect lung cancer early when it’s most curable

More people die of lung cancer each year in the United States than any other type of cancer, yet when it’s caught early, there are more treatment options and much higher survival rates.

To promote early detection and save lives, Beaumont Health System now offers a $50 Lung Cancer Screening that uses low-dose computed tomography imaging, or CT, for earlier diagnosis of lung cancers. This screening will be offered at the three Beaumont hospitals in Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe.

A CT scan is a diagnostic test that uses X-ray beams, which are a form of radiation similar to light or radio waves, to create cross-sectional images horizontally and vertically of the body. CT scans are very detailed and can help physicians diagnose many conditions that may not be easily diagnosed with other imaging methods. CT scanning has been shown to be the best way to find small lung cancers and save lives.

“Without early detection, most lung cancer patients soon die from their lung cancer,” says Craig Stevens, M.D., health system chair, Radiation Oncology. “By introducing an affordable, high-quality lung cancer screening program, more patients can be diagnosed early enough to save their lives.”

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended yearly screening for adults between the age of 55 and 80 who are at high risk for lung cancer.

Patients who meet guidelines developed by the National Lung Screening Trial and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network who are considered high-risk for lung cancer include: 

  •  People 55 years of age and older who are current or former smokers with a history of at least 30 “pack years” of smoking. One “pack year” is equal to the number of packs smoked a day times the number of years of smoking – for example, one pack a day for 30 years; two packs a day for 15 years.
  • Current or former smokers 50 years of age and older , with a history of at least 30 “pack years” of smoking with one additional risk factor, such as:
    • radon exposure
    • occupational exposure to silica, cadmium, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes and/or nickel
    • cancer history, including lung cancer, lymphomas, cancers of the head and neck, and smoking-related cancers such as esophageal cancer
    • family history of lung cancer, history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or interstitial pulmonary fibrosis

A 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 20 percent reduction in death among high-risk individuals who were screened with a low-dose CT versus a control group screened with a traditional chest X-ray. Annual screening with CT scans can find lung cancers in their earliest stage, when up to 90 percent can be cured.

CT screening for lung cancer detection is not currently covered by insurance and eligible patients must be referred by a physician.

“At Beaumont Health System, we know that radiation exposure is a concern for patients and physicians,” says Duane Mezwa M.D., health system chair, Imaging Services, Beaumont Health System and professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. “We offer the most advanced CT imaging available and follow stringent radiation safety principles. We are proud to be a leader in reducing radiation exposure while maintaining the highest quality of images through our research and technology.”

For more information, visit cancer.beaumont.edu/lung-cancer-diagnosis or call 800-328-8542 to schedule a screening appointment. A screening requires a written physician order.

About Beaumont’s Cancer Program

Beaumont’s comprehensive cancer program combines the expertise of surgical, medical and radiation oncologists to offer cancer prevention counseling, diagnosis and treatment in hospital and community-based settings. The Beaumont Cancer Institute is one of only 49 Community Clinical Oncology Programs in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute to provide patients with access to leading-edge cancer clinical research trials. Beaumont is designated as a Blue Cross Center of Distinction for the Treatment of Rare and Complex Cancers. Beaumont, Royal Oak and Troy are recognized by U.S. News & World Report as “high performing” hospitals for cancer care. Find out more at http://cancer.beaumont.edu/.