Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in America, but now there's hope. Screening is used to detect lung cancer early, when it is more likely to be curable. If lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 59 percent.* While you should be taking precautions against COVID-19, given the critical importance of screening for lung cancer, you should not delay this conversation with your doctor. So talk to your doctor and decide whether to set up a visit or explore remote telehealth options to discuss next steps about screening. Many screening centers are taking precautions to protect patient safety during this challenging time and access to screening may be limited or delayed.
*Based on early-stage lung cancer stats (stage 1 vs. stage 4)
About the low-dose lung cancer screening
A low-dose CT scan is a special kind of X-ray that takes multiple pictures as you lie on a table that slides in and out of the machine. A computer then combines these images into a detailed picture of your lungs.
A study on early detection of lung cancer found that the low-dose cancer screening test can reduce mortality for those at high risk. If you're a current or former smoker over the age of 50, you could meet the high-risk eligibility criteria.
Doctor conversation guide
If you complete our screening eligibility quiz and qualify for a low-dose CT lung cancer screening, you can download a printout to take to your doctor to start the conversation.
Will insurance cover a lung cancer screening test?
Medicare and many private health insurance plans cover lung cancer screening without cost-sharing, but eligibility criteria varies based on type of plan you have and many plans are currently updating their criteria to match new guidelines. Check out our coverage chart to learn more. Health plans, including Medicare and private insurance, may charge co-pays if the facility or provider is "out of network." When booking your appointment, confirm with the facility that it and the providers are "in network" to avoid cost sharing.
Find a center nearby. It could save your life. When choosing a facility, confirm with your insurance company or the facility that it and the providers are part of your health plan's "in network" system to avoid cost‑sharing.
*If you don't see a site listed in your zip code or within traveling distance, there are additional sites that perform lung cancer screenings but are not yet accredited by American College of Radiology. In addition to participation in the American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening registry, American College of Radiology accredited sites have American College of Radiology CT accreditation in the chest module and their screening protocol meet minimum technical specifications. You should speak to your doctor to determine what best meets your needs.
Screening success stories
Frank was saved by the scan and routinely gets screened to make sure he remains cancer-free. He is so thankful for the technology and this scan. He believes that anyone who has loved ones who fit the profile, should get the low-dose CT scan, because it certainly saved his life.