The Importance of Lung Cancer Screening 1

With The Expert Dr. Richard Pagliara

You’ve probably heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It especially rings true when concerning one’s health. The shift in the medical field seems to be focusing on disease prevention as much as treatment and cure. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and one of the best things you can do if you are an “at risk” individual, is get an annual screening. What many people don’t know is that Medicare now covers these screenings for those who meet certain criteria.

In 2016 the American Cancer Society reported 158,000 deaths from lung cancer. According to the website it is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. Cigarette smoking is by far the most important risk factor for lung cancer. Smoking causes 80% of lung cancer deaths in the US.

So how do you know if you are a candidate to be screened?

Low dose CT lung Cancer screenings are fully covered by Medicare and most insurance companies if you…

  • Are between the ages of 55 – 77
  • Are a current smoker or quit within the past 15 years
  • Have smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for the past 30 years (or the equivalent amount in less years)
  • Have an order from your healthcare provider
  • Carry Medicare or any of the many insurance companies that have adopted this standard.”

What is the screening procedure like?

According to Richard Pagliara, M.D., of Radiology Regional, the Ultrafast Screening of the Lungs is a non­invasive, CT scan that can detect abnormalities and lung cancer in its earlier, more curable stages using a new technique called helical low dose CT scanning. The screening is far more accurate in finding lung tumors than a chest x-ray, the traditional diagnostic tool. It can find lung cancers when they are as small as the diameter of a soda straw, as compared with a chest x-ray that finds them when they are about the size of a quarter. You hold your breath for approximately 10­-15 seconds while the scan is completed.

In summary, lung cancer screening is quick, painless and non­invasive. It could also save your life. If you have a history as a smoker, schedule your screening today.  Visit