Lung Cancer Screening Program
• Annual low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans
• Health care consultations
• Tobacco cessation programs
• Referrals to Houston Methodist specialists
Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening
We are able to detect lung cancer at an early stage because LDCT lung cancer screening works. The National Lung Screening Trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, demonstrated a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality compared to chest radiographs. As a result, major medical societies and organizations now recommend lung cancer screening, and insurance companies and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will cover the cost.
Who should be screened?
Houston Methodist follows these CMS screening guidelines:
• Individuals ages 55 to 77 who smoke or who quit smoking within the last 15 years
• Individuals who have a 30 “pack year” history (for example, an average of one pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years)
• Individuals who receive a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner
Lung Cancer Screening Process
Your screening will involve a single-breath-hold LDCT scan of your lungs, which a board-certified radiologist will read. A Houston Methodist health care professional will discuss the results with you and develop an evaluation plan if your screening reveals something suspicious.
What happens if something is found in the screening?
• Individuals with a lung cancer history
• Individuals with an unexplained weight loss greater than 15 pounds in the past year
• Individuals with a history of coughing up blood
• Individuals who have not smoked a cigarette in more than 15 years
However, if you have symptoms or a problem that requires a diagnostic CT scan, one will be ordered for you instead of a screening LDCT scan.
Call Houston Methodist at 713.441.LUNG (5864) to discuss screening criteria or schedule an appointment.
Learn more about lung cancer screening from a Houston Methodist physician. Read “10 Things to Know About Lung Cancer Screenings” by Reginald Munden, MD, chair of the Department of Radiology at Houston Methodist.