What is the Lung Cancer Screening Program?

The Lung Cancer Screening Program at WVU Cancer Institute Wheeling Hospital provides screenings, evaluations and counseling for lung cancer in high-risk populations. We use a Low Dose CT scan to screen for lung masses or nodules that could indicate lung cancer. As part of our program, we also offer resources and counseling for individuals who want to quit smoking.

Why is Early Detection Important?

  • Our goal is to provide early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for individuals with lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
  • In 2011, the National Lung Screening Trial found that screenings by low dose CT scans reduced lung cancer deaths by 20%.
  • CT scans can detect very small nodules in the lungs, diagnosing cancer at its earlier, most treatable stage.
  • If lung cancer is found after it has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body), the 5-year survival rate is reduced to 6%.

Who is Eligible?

The Lung Cancer Screening Program is designed to provide lung cancer screenings to high-risk populations. Medicare and most insurance plans will cover the cost for screening if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You are between the ages of 50-77
  • You have a greater than 20 pack-year smoking history*
  • You are a current smoker or have quit smoking in the past 15 years
  • You have not received a CT scan in the past 12 months

Most private insurance plans and Medicare will cover lung cancer screening with no out-of-pocket expenses.

What is Self-Referral?

The Lung cancer screening program accepts self-referrals. If you do not have a Primary Care Provider, and meet eligibility criteria, you will be scheduled with a Pulmonologist. They will perform a complete history and physical exam to assess your lung cancer risk. If appropriate, you will be scheduled for a low dose CT scan.

Click here for Wheeling Hospital Self-Referral Form

What Can I Expect During Screening?

Your primary care provider or a specialist can confirm eligibility and discuss the risks and benefits of lung cancer screening. Once your physician confirms eligibility, the nurse navigator will contact you to answer any questions and schedule a low dose CT scan. You will be contacted as soon as possible to discuss the results of the screening, and recommendations for follow-up will be communicated at that time. Your results will also be available in MyChart.

The test will only take a few minutes and no preparation is needed. You may eat and drink normally before and after the test. After the scan, you will be contacted to discuss the results of the screening, and recommendations for follow-up will be communicated at that time. Your results will also be available through your MyWVUChart.com account. If necessary, you may have an appointment scheduled with the Lung Nodule Clinic to discuss your plan of care. During this appointment, further diagnostic testing may be ordered.

Why Is It Important to Stop Smoking?

The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. Tobacco use accounts for nearly 90% of all lung cancers. Our multidisciplinary staff is available to provide education and support throughout the screening process. For additional support, contact 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669).

Who Do I Contact for Additional Information?

For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening Program at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital, please contact Barb Woodstuff, Nurse Navigator, at 304-242-6461.

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