In a published article in a medical journal, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the U.S. Preventive Task Force has announced that it is recommending ” anyone between ages 50 and 80 who has smoked at least 20 “pack-years” and either still smokes or quit within the last 15 years… The task force recommendation means insurers must offer the screening without a copay to people who meet the criteria.”

More people become eligible

What does this mean? In a nutshell, smokers over the age of 50 should be screened annually for early detection of lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 235,760 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2021, nearly evenly divided between men and women.

With this adjusted recommendation, the number of people that could become eligible for screening would nearly double. This screening would be conducted by a low-dose scan performed with Computed Tomography (CT), a scan that is performed by Capitol Imaging Services in select locations. Additional news sources cite that more Americans now qualify for yearly scans to detect lung cancer, according to the revised guidelines. That may help more Black smokers and women get screened.

What is low-dose lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer screening uses Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) i.e. a CT scan with a low dose of radiation, to find lung nodules, some of which may be cancer. People who take part in screening can lower their chances of dying from lung cancer. CT scanning for lung cancer screening uses up to 90% less radiation than a conventional chest CT scan. The scan itself is very short, taking approximately five minutes to complete. No special preparation is required and those undergoing the scan can return to normal activities upon leaving our center.

Click here to learn more about this type of screening exam performed at Capitol Imaging Services. People with health insurance coverage are always encouraged to check with their benefits provider to confirm eligibility for insurance coverage.

Capitol Imaging Services does require a referral order from a qualified medical provider for the screening exam.