This lung scan could save your life

January 15, 2020

Dawn Byrd, CT tech conducts CT Scan at Hunter Station

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in America, claiming more lives than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society. Clark Memorial Health is working against that statistic by offering an affordable low-dose CT lung scan, the best screening available to catch lung cancer early, when it is most treatable.

“Many people assume that a lung cancer diagnosis is a death sentence,” says Dawn Byrd, lung cancer screening coordinator and CT tech at Clark. “This is not necessarily true. When detected early, lung cancer patients have more treatment options and a far greater chance of survival. Early detection is key.”

Those who may benefit most from this lung screening include current or former smokers or people who have been exposed to high levels of radon another leading cause of lung cancer.

“It is very common for people living in the Ohio Valley to have lung nodules,” Dawn says. “By having a lung cancer screening, we track those nodules to make sure they do not get larger or change in any way. Kentucky and Indiana are in the top 10 of states with the highest adult smoking rates. That is why a program like this one at Clark Memorial is so important.”

The CT scan is noninvasive, painless, and takes about 15 minutes, Dawn says. Clark offers the screening for at-risk patients for $104. If you meet the high-risk criteria and are 55-80 years old and have private insurance, or are 55-77 and have Medicare, your insurance may cover the exam.

High-risk criteria include:

  • Being age 55 and older
  • Current or former smoker, even those who have quit smoking within the last 15 years
  • You smoked at least 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, or 3 packs a day for 10 years.

The screening is available both at the main hospital and at Clark’s Hunter Station imaging center in Sellersburg.

“The benefit of coming to Hunter Station is shorter wait times,” Dawn says. “Your test will never be delayed because of an emergency patient or inpatient. You register and have your test all in one place, and the parking is close and convenient to the building. We have very experienced staff that will perform your test.”

Schedule a CT lung screening at Hunter Station during January, and you will also be entered to win a free home radon test kit. An at-home test is the only way to detect this colorless, odorless gas that can seep into your home from the ground, and Clark County homes have a greater chance for high radon levels compared to elsewhere in Indiana.

Know for sure. Call 800.424.DOCS to schedule a low-dose CT lung scan today.