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Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screenings are available at these locations:
At Southtowns Radiology, we are early detection champions for lung cancer.
Low-dose CT of the chest is the only screening currently recommended for early detection of lung cancer and is proven to save lives.
Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is a special type of imaging that takes very detailed, 3-D pictures of your lungs. While it uses 75% less radiation than a traditional CT scan, it also shows significantly more detail than a standard chest x-ray. The screening test does not require any injections or dyes, nothing needs to be swallowed orally, and no fasting is necessary.
Southtowns Radiology is a designated Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR). As such, we follow the United State Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT in patients:
- age 50-80 and
- who currently smoke OR
- who have quit smoking within the last 15 years AND
- who have a 20 pack-year history of smoking.
Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services covers Lung Cancer Screening for those who are age 55-77 and currently smoke or have quit in the last 15 years and have a 30 pack-year history of smoking.
With regular screening, our radiologists can see changes in your lung tissue as they compare images from year-to-year. Evidence suggests that lung cancer screening programs could detect approximately one-half of lung cancer cases as an early stage and save nearly 20,000 lives each year. With early diagnosis, lung cancer can be caught before it spreads, and is more likely to be treatable and even curable in certain cases.
Southtowns Radiology offers low-dose CT lung cancer screenings at both our Hamburg and Orchard Park offices. Call 716-649-9000 to schedule your appointment. Most appointments take approximately 10 minutes, and results are usually provided to the doctor who ordered the screen within 48 hours (with the exception of Saturdays).
We are proud to offer Phillips iDose technology on its 64-slice scanner for a reduction in radiation levels of up to 50%. This advanced iDose technology adds greater peace of mind for patients concerned about radiation exposure while actually improving image quality.
There are important risk factors to consider when thinking about lung cancer screening.
- Tobacco use
- Exposure to secondhand smoke, radon or asbestos
- Family history of lung cancer (Researchers have found that genetics seems to play a role in some families with a strong history of lung cancer. *American Cancer Society)
Current and former smokers are encouraged to calculate their number of pack years of tobacco exposure. A pack year is calculated by determining the number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years. Those with 30 pack years or more of tobacco use are typically recommended for screening. For example, smoking one pack per day for 30 years, or, smoking two packs per day for 15 years, would both constitute a 30 pack year history of tobacco use.
Healthcare providers may use a risk-based outcomes tool from the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial at the National Institute of Health to evaluate a patient’s individual risk of lung cancer based on factors such as age, race, smoking intensity/duration, body mass index (BMI) and more. For more information and to calculate your risk of lung cancer, visit the NIH NLST site here.
It’s a good idea to talk with your provider about your lung health and smoking history.
We encourage you to start a conversation about your history of tobacco use with your primary healthcare provider as soon as you become a patient. You should also share any family history of lung cancer.
It is essential that you reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider if you notice a persistent cough that doesn’t go away, continued chest pain when you breathe deeply or laugh, shortness of breath, continued wheezing, or coughing up blood or rust colored phlegm.
If you are currently smoking, we encourage you to enroll in a smoking cessation program. You can get help through the New York State Smokers’ Quitline – it’s a free and confidential service that provides effective support to New Yorkers who want to quit smoking. Call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.
Remember – because you know your family history, your lifestyle and your body like no one else, you are your own best healthcare advocate. If you have multiple risk factors to consider, it’s a good idea to ask about lung cancer screening – do not assume your provider will come to you with this information.
When deciding where you will go for low-dose CT lung cancer screening, it’s important that you find an imaging center that is:
- Designated as a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology
- Is in your insurance plan’s network and accepts Medicare
- Committed to providing results to your doctor or primary care provider within 48 hours
- Close to work or home.
Southtowns Radiology is the only medical imaging provider in Orchard Park and West Seneca that is designated as a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology. With locations in Hamburg and Orchard Park, we are easily accessible to most communities south of Buffalo and are 20 minutes or less away from West Seneca, East Aurora, Angola, Blasdell, Eden, Lakeview, Derby, Elma, North Collins, Silvercreek, Boston and Springville.
We are In-Network with all major insurance carriers, including Independent Health, BlueCross BlueShield, Univera, Aetna, United Healthcare and more. For a comprehensive list of insurances we accept, please visit our Billing & Insurance page.
We can often accommodate same-day appointments for low-dose CT lung cancer screenings, and appointments typically take less than 30 minutes to complete.
Typical insurance coverage and out of pocket cost for low-dose CT lung cancer screening you should consider include:
Most insurances, including Medicare Part B, cover low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans once each year for those who fall within the recommended screening guidelines.
If you have questions regarding your insurance coverage for a lung cancer screening, or another service we provide, please see our Billing & Insurance Info. You can also call the customer service number on your insurance card and talk directly with a representative there.
Before your low-dose CT lung cancer screening appointment, you should know:
When you arrive for your lung cancer screening, it’s essential that you have your script with you. If you don’t have your script, please call the provider who ordered your imaging to ensure that one can be faxed to our office for your appointment.
Low-dose CT lung cancer screenings do not require any injections or dyes, nothing needs to be swallowed orally, and no fasting is necessary. In fact, the majority of patients can remain in their own clothes; however, metal, including those found in undergarments from the waist up, will need to be removed.
During your study, your technologist will help you lie down on a movable table to take images from different angles. The technologist will view the images of your lungs at the computer workstation to ensure quality images have been captured for review. A radiologist will then examine the images and will send a copy of your results to the provider who ordered your screening test. You should expect to hear results from your primary healthcare provider and also receive a letter with your results mailed to you within one week.
Additional Resources for Smoking Cessation, Lung Health and Lung Cancer
New York State Smokers Quitline
American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Center Guidelines
American Cancer Society – Lung Cancer
American Lung Association – Saved By The Scan
Take a Breath For Life – Western New York Based Foundation for Lung Cancer