Good Samaritan Medical Center Offers Low Radiation Dose Lung Cancer Screening

Cancer Care, Preventive Service Steward Health Care

zauls_a_jasonGood Samaritan Medical Center now offers low-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening to patients with a higher risk of developing lung cancer. The LDCT scan for lung cancer uses advanced CT technology by delivering a minimal radiation dose to detect the earliest stages of cancer and does not require contrast injection or preparation. Good Samaritan Medical Center is an accredited LDCT facility by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.,” said A. Jason Zauls, MD, Cancer Program Medical Director at in the Oncology Department at Good Samaritan Medical Center. “The number of deaths due to lung cancer is greater than that of breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. This is partially due to lung cancer not being detected until there are symptoms. In addition, patients who smoke often accept the symptoms as part of their habit and don’t seek medical attention at the first signs.”

A LDCT scan for lung cancer uses advanced CT technology that delivers minimal radiation dose to detect the early stage of lung cancer. It is a very brief scan (10-20 seconds) and does not require fasting, contrast, injections, or even changing clothing.

This screening is recommended for high-risk patients who:

  • Currently smoke or who have quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Have a tobacco smoking history of 30+ pack years (a pack year is calculated by the number of packs smoked per day and the number of years smoked; i.e. two packs per day for 15 years = 30 pack years)
  • Are between the ages of 55 – 77
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer and have no major medical issues that would prevent having a cancer work-up and treatments if discovered during screening

LDCT screening has been shown to lower the risk of lung cancer death in patients by discovering cancer in early stages when treatment is most effective. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine determined that low-dose CT screening can result in 20% fewer lung cancer deaths among high-risk patients compared to screening with a standard chest x-ray.

“We have performed 396 screenings since we began last year and have detected nine cancers that may have otherwise gone on to a well advanced stage without this process,” said Dr. Zauls. “Those patients are now under our care and will continue being monitored with annual screenings and follow-up visits to ensure their continued good health.”

Patients must be referred for a LDCT by their physician and should speak with their insurance company or our financial counselors to determine if the test is currently covered by their insurance. However, the cost of the screening is quite low for those patients at-risk who may need to self-pay.

To find a doctor or schedule an appointment visit Steward DoctorFinder™ or call 1-800-488-5959.