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What to Expect During Your Lung Cancer Screening

November 28, 2017

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You may have many questions about what to expect during a lung cancer screening. Screenings can be very effective at identifying cancerous abnormalities early when there may be more treatment options available. Read below to learn more about the comprehensive lung cancer screening program at Moffitt. 

Step 1: Request a Screening

To determine your level of risk and if you qualify for a lung cancer screening, please call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form. A coordinator in the lung cancer screening program will call you to screen for eligibility. If you are eligible, a patient services specialist will call you to schedule a low-dose CT scan. Read more about eligibility requirements

Medicare recipients must also schedule an additional "shared decision visit" in order for Medicare to cover the costs of the screening. If you are uninsured or under-insured, Moffitt offers a voucher program for those that qualify.  The screening scan can also be offered for those who would like to pay out of pocket for a fee of $150.00.

Step 2: CT Scan Appointment 

Low-dose CT scans only take minutes to complete, however, there is a wait time prior to your appointment. Your patient services specialist will let you know what time to arrive. No fasting is required prior to the scan. 

Medicare patients will have an additional 30-minute shared-decision visit in the Thoracic Clinic at the Magnolia campus. Risks and benefits of the procedure will be discussed at that time. 

Uninsured patients will have an additional business office visit prior to the scan to pay for the procedure out-of-pocket. These appointments are available at any Moffitt location

Step 3: Follow-up 

Follow-up tests are important as they determine the plan of care for the patient. CT scans could result in false positive or false negative results. Follow-up tests help measure changes or progression of the nodule. If a suspicious nodule does not change or disappears, a patient can return to annual screening as determined by radiologists. 

If a patient’s scan results are positive, we will schedule a follow-up low-dose CT scan anytime between three to nine months after the initial scan. The time frame depends heavily on the results found. If a patient’s scan results are negative, we will schedule a low-dose CT scan annually. Annual screenings may then be scheduled for a minimum of up to three years. 

Learn more about Moffitt’s Lung Cancer Screening and Surveillance Program.