Lung Cancer Screening

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Even for people with a history of heavy smoking, there may be no symptoms of lung cancer. But in the almost two years since Medicare Insurance began paying for screening tests for smokers who meet certain criteria, doctors say more lives have been saved through early detection.

Dr. Brian Mott/Commonwealth Health Cardiothoracic Surgeon: “We have a higher than normal incidence in this area for lung cancer and smoking, it’s an older population and a higher population at risk for getting cancer.”

Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Brian Mott says a person is considered at high risk for lung cancer if:

• They are between ages 55 and 80
• They are a current smoker or have stopped within the last 15 years
• Have a history of heavy smoking.

A low dose CT scan with a machine like this can detect lung cancer at its earliest stages when it's more curable. The screening does require a referral by a primary care physician and is covered by most insurances.

Dr. Brian Mott/Commonwealth Health Cardiothoracic Surgeon: “We try to make people aware of the test if you’re in a high-risk category talk to your doctor. We can save 20% more people with this test.”

Experts say if you smoke and stopped smoking today, your risk for lung cancer decreases by 50% over the next ten years.

That scan is available at Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital of Scranton, Moses Taylor Hospital, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and the Thomas P. Saxton Medical Pavilion

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