Lung Cancer Screening

After 47 years smoking unfiltered cigarettes, one-time actor Mickey Shrader knew his health was compromised. He was out of breath simply walking from his car into a store. He decided to quit smoking in early 2015 and immediately felt better.

At a check-up, Mickey met his new physician who reviewed his health with fresh eyes. Because of Mickey’s nearly five-decade smoking habit, she recommended a CT scan, which found a lesion in his right lung. A biopsy determined it was cancer. After more tests, Dr. Raymond Schaerf, a thoracic surgery specialist at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, told Mickey the cancer had not spread. At Stage 1, Dr. Schaerf recommended radiation treatment rather than surgery. Dr. Rex Hoffman, a radiation oncology specialist at the Disney Family Cancer Center, oversaw the 65-year-old’s treatment. Now cancer free, Mickey says he is blessed. His lungs are clear. He feels great and is more active than he’s been in years. He enjoys spending time with his wife of 40 years, and with his kids and granddaughter. He continues to work, assisting others through a non-profit that develops jobs for disabled individuals.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Lung Cancer Screening?

A lung cancer screening is a test that detects lung cancer in people who show no symptoms of the disease.

Screening for cancer increases the chance of detecting a diagnosis at an earlier stage. If you can detect cancer earlier, you are more likely to have a better outcome.

Whether you are an active smoker or quit years ago, undergoing a lung cancer screening can aid in the early detection of lung cancer, when it is most treatable and offers the greatest chance of survival.

During this screening, a low-dose CT scan is designed to look for signs of lung cancer even before symptoms are present. Because a low-dose CT scan involves a lower amount of radiation exposure than a traditional CT scan, it is the only effective, proven way to screen for lung cancer.

Who Should Get Screened for Lung Cancer?

Our screening criteria is based on Medicare coverage. We recommend an annual lung cancer screening for adults ages 55 to 77 who meet the following requirements:

  • Currently smoke or actively smoked within the past 15 years
  • Have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history (Example: Smoking 1 pack a day for 30 years equals 30 pack-years. Smoking 2 packs a day for 15 years equals 30 pack-years.)
  • Have not had a CT chest scan in the past 12 months

You can stop screening once you have quit smoking for 15 years or if you develop a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability to have lung surgery.

How Do I Learn More?

If you are interested in lung cancer screening, contact your primary care provider. Or, call 1-844-LUNG-LIFE (586-4543) and find out if you qualify for the Lung Screening Program.

Patient Referral Form

Download the Lung Cancer Screening Patient referral form
Providers please use this form when referring patients to Providence Lung Cancer Screening Program.

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