Memorial Health - November 23, 2020
by Dr. Lourens Willekes

A low-dose CT scan is a non-invasive scan that takes multiple 3D images of the lungs to find small lung nodules. It uses only a small amount of radiation and requires no dye or contrast. The scan is painless and takes only a few minutes to complete.

The goal of screening is to detect lung cancer early; that is, prior to having symptoms and before it has spread to other organs. Early detection benefits the patient by finding lung cancer when it is smaller and less aggressive, providing a better opportunity to remove and treat with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Advanced stage lung cancer has often spread to other vital organs and treatment is less effective.

A low-dose CT scan is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers for qualified patients. For patients whose insurance does not cover the screening, Memorial Health offers this lung cancer screening for only $150.

If your low-dose CT scan detects a suspicious nodule, we offer a new technology to help determine if the nodule is cancerous. Memorial Health was the first hospital in Georgia to offer robotic-assisted bronchoscopy for early detection of lung cancer. This minimally invasive procedure is safer than CT-guided lung biopsy and unlike a traditional bronchoscopy, the robotic platform gives the physician the ability to reach the entire lung safely and obtain tissue samples of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

If you are a current or former smoker and you fit the criteria for a low-dose CT screening, please discuss it with your primary care doctor. Lung cancer kills more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined and screening has proven effective for individuals at higher risk. Call Memorial Health at (912)350-LUNG (5864) for more information or to schedule your LDCT lung cancer screening today.