Former smokers might be overlooking critical screening to detect lung cancer early

Good for you for kicking the habit.

But the risk of lung cancer is still there. Certain patients should be getting a critical screening to detect the disease, even before symptoms become obvious.

 Dr. Steven Leh, a pulmonologist with Aurora Saint Luke's Medical Center, was a special live guest on the CBS 58 News at 4:30 p.m.

Aurora Health Care follows the recommendation of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and uses low-dose, non-contrast chest computed tomography (CT).

Dr. Leh emphasized that only certain patients require such a screening.

They have to be 55 to 77 years of age and  have smoked one pack a day or more for 30 years or the equivalent.

The patients also has to be asymptomatic  or  not showing any signs or symptoms of lung cancer.

You will need an order from your primary care provider to receive a lung CT scan.

For more information call the Aurora Health Care Lung Cancer Screening program at (855) 229-0924 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The lung CT scan is covered by most insurance plans and mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

The lung cancer screening involves a low-dose, non-contrast chest computed tomography (CT) scan. It does not cause any pain.

Patients lie very still on a table while the table passes through the center of a large X-ray machine or the X-ray machine passes over the table.

You may hear a whirring sound during the procedure.

You may be asked to hold your breath to prevent blurring of the images.

The procedure usually lasts only a few minutes to a half hour.

Results come in within seven days.

We've attached the interview with the doctor to this story.

Share this article: