SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- "Up until now, many lung cancer survivors owed their good fortune to luck – an incidental discovery of a lung nodule on an X-ray or a CT scan that was done for a totally unrelated reason." says Dr. Avraham Merav, Director of the Westchester Lung Nodule Center at Phelps Memorial Hospital.
A better way to screen for lung cancer was revealed by a study which showed low-dose CT scans detected more lung cancers than standard chest X-rays. Participants who received CT screening had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer than those who received plain X-rays.
Soon, cost should no longer be a deterrent for access to this more effective type of screening. Recent studies have prompted a new Affordable Care Act requirement for insurance companies to pay for low-dose CT screenings for individuals at high risk.
Risk for developing lung cancer is especially high among current or former cigarette smokers between the ages 55 to 75.
"Lung cancer kills more people each year than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer combined. If detected early, before symptoms begin, lung cancer is often curable." says Dr. Merav. "When the cost of screening is covered by insurance, including Medicare, more people will be able to be screened, diagnosed and treated early."