Thursday, October 3, 2013

Six things to look for in a CT lung cancer screening provider

If you are a smoker, or quit within the last 15 years, you are about to start receiving information about CT screening for lung cancer. The reason, the US Preventive Services Task Force recently concluded that low-dose CT screening can reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent. That's right, we finally have a screening test for early stage lung cancer that can actually make significant difference.

Once the USPSTF makes a recommendation, US insurance carriers often begin covering the cost of such screens. Consequently, radiologists all over the country are gearing up to offer CT screening for smokers  between the ages of 55 and 74 or those who quit within the last 15 years. Your doctor may even recommend it. But before you tie on that paper gown, here's six things you should look for in a screening program according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, one of the organizations that sets guidelines for clinical practice.

  • Follows an organized plan—a proven protocol—that is updated to include new technology and knowledge like that from NCCN,
  • Has a high-quality screening program with enough staff and resources,
  • Is accredited to do CT scans by a certifying organization, such as the American College of Radiology,
  • Has scans read by an American Board of Radiology board-certified radiologist who’s an expert in lung cancer screening,
  • Has modern multi-slice CT equipment that does high-quality, low-dose, and non-contrast spiral CT scans, and
  • Is partnered with a health center that has 1) experience and excellence in biopsy methods, 2) board-certified pulmonologists, and 3) board-certified thoracic surgeons who are experts in lung cancer.

No comments:

Post a Comment