Task Force Recommends New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Aired 1/2/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Dr. Phillipe Montgrain, Pulmonologist, UC San Diego Medical Center
Debra Kelley, Regional Director, American Lung Association
There are common cancers and there are very deadly cancers: Lung cancer is both.
Estimates by the American Cancer Society ranks new cases of lung cancer in 2013 third behind only prostate cancer and breast cancer.
The difficulty in detecting it means more people die from lung cancer than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined.
Now, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force said lung cancer screening for many chain-smokers and former smokers should be done with a CT scan instead of an X-ray.
Under the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — CT scans are to be covered by a patient's insurance. According to the Associated Press, task force-recommended cancer screenings are to be covered under the law without the requirement of a copay. However, as the AP reports, there is a one-year time period to adopt new recommendations.