Redmond's Comprehensive Lung Screening Clinic
The Redmond Lung Screening Clinic is our answer to the national call to improve lung cancer outcomes. Through multidisciplinary collaboration, we are committed to offering individualized, evidence-based care lung screening and management. Years of clinical research, including the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST), has demonstrated that, in certain high risk individuals, a well-coordinated approach to lung screening can save 1 in 5 lives from lung cancer.
Why Lung Screening?
More people die of lung cancer in America than any other malignancy. With over 155,000 deaths per year, lung cancer is responsible for more deaths than breast, colorectal, melanoma, and prostate cancer combined. Lung cancer can be curable when found in its early stages, but it has been historically difficult to detect until now.
The goal of the Lung Cancer Screening Clinic at Redmond is to save lives. Historically, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms, and subsequently, when the cancer is much harder to treat.
Who Should Get a Lung Screen?
A 'shared decision making discussion' is recommended to determine if a lung cancer screening is appropriate for you. This discussion begins with a conversation between you and your primary care physician. Your physician will determine your eligibility for screening and refer you to our clinic if appropriate. Prior to your lung screen at Redmond, you will meet with Redmond's Nurse Practitioner Lung Navigator to go over the benefits and risks of a lung cancer screening. Because we feel your education is necessary to make good decisions about your healthcare, the visit with our Redmond Lung Navigator is included in the cost of your screen.
According to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommendations, which are based on the NLST trial, LDCT (low dose CT) lung screening is recommended for the following group of people who are at high risk for lung cancer:
- Individuals age 55-77
- Smoking history of at least an average of 1 pack a day for 30 years (minimum 30 pack years)
- Current or recent smoker (quit within the past 15 years)
Lung screening is not recommended for those who currently have symptoms or a history of lung cancer.
If Smoking Makes Me High Risk for Lung Cancer, Will You Help Me Stop Smoking?
All individuals seeking lung screening should discuss smoking cessation with your physician. You will also receive smoking cessation education, support, and resources from our Redmond Nurse Practitioner Lung Navigator. Redmond, in partnership with the Northwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, now offers regular smoking cessation classes at no charge, using the America Cancer Society Freshstart® Program. Please call (706) 368-8480 to register for this FREE program.
Can I Receive a Lung Screen if I’m Not a Smoker?
Not all individuals are known to be at high risk for lung cancer. The National Lung Study Trial guarantees we are adhering to evidence-based medicine in our Lung Screening Clinic. The study looked carefully at risks and benefits associated with screening and determined the greatest benefit of screening is for individuals older than 55 years of age with a history of heavy smoking within the last 15 years. This population is at greatest risk of developing lung cancer. Currently, to enter Redmond Regional’s Lung Screening Clinic, individuals must meet CMS recommendations.
How is the Exam Performed?
Low dose CT lung screening is one of the easiest screening exams you can have. The exam takes less than 10 seconds. No medications are given and no needles are used. You can eat before and after the exam. You do not even need to get changed as long as the clothing on your chest does not contain metal. You must, however, be able to hold your breath for at least 6 seconds while the chest scan is being taken.
How Much Does a Lung Screen Cost?
We are excited to share that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) approved coverage for lung screening on February 5, 2015. Medicare Parts A and B cover lung screening as a preventative screen (no deductible required). Lung screening is also covered by Medicare Advantage and private insurance plans. Please check with your insurance carrier for details.
When Will I Get My Result?
Our dedicated thoracic radiologists will read your scan and report the results to ensure that you will be notified within 72 hours. In addition, each individual will have their report sent to their Primary Care Provider (PCP). You will be notified of your results either by your PCP or by the Redmond Lung Navigator, according to your physician’s preference.
How Do You Manage My Lung Screening Findings?
A 12 month follow up screening will be recommended if an individual remains high risk. The Redmond Lung Navigator will facilitate scheduling your follow up scan and will have ongoing communication with you and your physician throughout your participation in our clinic.
Individuals with an abnormal findings will be contacted by our Redmond Lung Navigator, Lisa Acree, MSN, ANP-BC. Recommendations are made collaboratively by pulmonology and thoracic radiology for further follow-up. According to your primary care physician’s preference, you will be recommended to continue in our screening program or admitted to our Lung Nodule Clinic.