Lung Screening Program
Our Lung Screening Program
More than 200,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. The outlook is poor for patients whose cancer is detected in its advanced stages. The outlook is very positive for patients whose cancer is detected early. That is why North Florida Regional has created The Lung Screening Program. Our goal is to promote early detection and treatment of lung cancer to improve survival rates.
Unlike many patients whose lung cancer is revealed in late stages only after symptoms appear, Deborah Shaw-Mirando’s cancer was revealed in its earliest stages when treatment can be very effective. Deborah had developed a cough and, because lung cancer was in her family, her physician recommended a CT scan of her lungs. Her cough turned out to be the result of allergies, but her scan showed the beginning of lung cancer. Because of early detection, Deborah needed only surgery and no other form of treatment.
Deborah believes she is alive today because of the early CT scan she had, and she has become a passionate advocate for lung screening programs.
Who Should Be Screened
To qualify for screening under the guidelines of The Lung Screening Program at North Florida Regional, individuals must meet the following criteria:
- Between the ages of 55 and 74 years
- Free from current lung disease/illness
- Current smoker for former smoker who quit within 15 years
- 30-pack year or more smoking history (1 pack of cigarettes daily for 30 years, 2 packs of cigarettes daily for 15 years, etc.)
Our Team Approach
Located on the campus of North Florida Regional Medical Center, the program allows all providers involved in the treatment of lung diseases to work together for diagnosis, treatment and management. This team approach brings together primary care providers, pulmonologists, radiologists, oncologists, thoracic surgeons and a lung screening navigator. Working together in this way raises the bar for advanced, quality care with a single, common goal – whatever is best for our patients.
Kelley Neil is the Lung Screening Navigator at North Florida Regional. Kelly is based at Invision Imaging on the campus of North Florida Regional Medical Center, where CT scans for lung screening are performed.
All physicians at Invision Imaging are board-certified radiologists who also maintain staff privileges at North Florida Regional Medical Center.
About the Screening
Computed Tomography (CT) creates a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body and combines the images it records into a detailed, cross-sectional view that shows any abnormalities or tumors. The Lung Screening Program at North Florida Regional is done through a Low-dose CT scan of the chest. Because screening participants are experiencing no symptoms, the test is specifically designed to screen the lungs rapidly with minimal radiation exposure. The procedure is pain free and non-invasive.
Cost of Screening
Most health insurance providers do not currently pay for the cost of lung screening. This may change when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) revises its recommendations on CT screening for lung cancer. Until that happens, individuals who are screened are responsible for the cost. We have lowered the cost for our screenings below what is typically charged to $150. In certain circumstances, health providers may pay for the screening. If you have questions, please call Lung Screening Navigator Kelley Neil at 352-333-4703.
More About Lung Screening
Recommendations for lung screening mark the beginning of an exciting time in early detection and treatment for lung cancer. Information about this new era can be found online on a variety of sites, including the following:
Deborah Shaw-Mirando is a survivor whose lung cancer was caught early because of a CT scan.
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