Lung Cancer Screenings for At-Risk Population

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – As the COVID-19 pandemic persists across the United States, people who are at-risk for lung cancer and other forms of cancer continue to delay routine, potentially lifesaving cancer screenings. 

“With last year’s concerns of Covid-19 there has been some reluctance within the community to get their lung cancer screenings and just in general other health maintenance,” says Dr. Minerva Covarrubias, Pulmonolgist at Parkridge Hospital. 

According to the American Cancer Society patients who are most at risk for lung cancer should get annual lung screenings.  But what exactly does a lung screening do and how can it potentially save your life?

“It’s a quick and dirty view of the lungs by C.T. Scan. It’s simply to pick up any spots or nodules in the lungs that might need further attention or evaluation. The importances is about early detection since we know early detection and diagnosis lead to better outcomes.” says Dr. Covarrubias.

Those who are most at-risk for lung cancer Are: people who 55-77 years old and are in good health,Those who Currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years And those who are displaying symptoms of lung cancer, which can include a new cough or shortness of breath.

“Size does matter and for every centimeter a lung cancer grows it results in serious change in mortality. Early detection is key. Survival rate at 5 years is up to 91 percent if it is found smaller than a centimeter,” says Eden Weiss, Lung Nodule Coordinator.

Lung cancer screening is covered by most insurance providers as a preventive service for high-risk individuals. So patients should consult their primary care provider and consult with their insurance provider before scheduling an appointment

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