Lung Cancer Prevention, Screening and Diagnosis
The signs and symptoms of lung cancer are not always noticeable. Our oncology care team encourages early lung cancer screening for people with certain risk factors, such as a history of smoking.
Why Choose Lung Cancer Screening at Methodist?
Early lung cancer diagnosis may offer you more therapy options and a better chance of successful treatment. At Methodist, you'll find:
- Advanced technology: We use low-dose CT (LDCT) screening, which the American Cancer Society recognizes as the best test for identifying problems early.
- Data-driven diagnosis and treatment: We follow National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines®, developed by leading experts in cancer care.
- Recognized quality: Our radiology lab has earned accreditation from the American College of Radiologists (ACR) for lung cancer screening. You can feel confident that our screenings and tests are accurate.
- Expertise: Our oncologists and surgeons provide the latest treatment, including clinical trials. You'll get support from specially trained oncology nurses and a cancer navigation team focused on lung cancer care.
Who Should Get Lung Cancer Screening?
Experts recommend lung cancer screening for individuals with certain risks. The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening for those who are:
- Aged 55 to 74
- Healthy enough to have surgery or other treatment
- Currently smoking or have quit within the past 15 years
- With a smoking history of 30 pack-years (about a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or half a pack daily for 15 years)
- Receiving smoking cessation counseling (if you are a current smoker)
What to Expect From Lung Cancer Screening
A low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening is a painless, noninvasive procedure. You'll lie on a table that slides in and out of a tubular X-ray machine. The machine takes pictures and turns them into a detailed picture of your lungs.
If you meet screening criteria, our LDCT scan is considered preventive care. Private insurance and Medicare cover the costs.
If you don't meet screening criteria but are concerned about your risk, we may be able to connect you with financial assistance. Call us at 309-672-3189 to find out more.
What Happens if Doctors Find a Problem?
If your doctors suspect lung cancer, they'll do more diagnostic testing. We help you set up follow-up tests and appointments for a full evaluation.
Our cancer navigation team follows each step of your care, including:
- Multidisciplinary review: A group of specialists reviews the details of your symptoms and diagnostic tests. We'll verify any diagnosis you've received from other doctors.
- Specialist consultations: You'll meet with specialists who will help you understand lung cancer symptoms, stages and treatment. They'll also talk to you about the quality guidelines we use to make treatment recommendations.
- Staging, consultations and tests: We'll work with you to complete follow-up testing to determine cancer's stage. These activities include:
- Scans, including positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain to determine if other organs are affected
- Biopsy, in which doctors remove and examine cancer cells
- Consultations with medical oncology, surgery and radiation oncology to develop a plan of care
- Treatment and recovery: You'll have support from the care team, including an oncology nurse navigator. Your nurse navigator helps you adjust to medications, deal with side effects and manage your health.
Can Lung Cancer Be Prevented?
While we've all probably heard that smoking and secondhand smoke cause lung cancer, those with no exposure to smoking may also be at risk. Doctors have found exposure to radon, air pollution or workplace chemicals can also cause lung cancer.
People can reduce their risk by avoiding tobacco smoke and other risk factors. Learn more about lung cancer causes and lung health.
Get the cancer support services you need, easily. Call 309-672-4224 to connect with one of our helpful cancer navigators.