Doctor consulting with patient

The lung screening program offered by the Tate Cancer Center at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center evaluates those considered at high-risk for developing lung cancer from smoking. A study by the National Cancer Institute and the National Lung Screening Trial found that low-dose screening CT scans reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by 20 percent.

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Who should be screened?

According to the guidelines of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), screening candidates should:

  • Be age 50-77 years
  • Be asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer)
  • Have a tobacco smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year; one pack = 20 cigarettes)
  • Be a current smoker or have quit in last 15 years
  • Receive an order for a lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT)

Other high risk factors may allow younger patients for imaging evaluation, such as occupational exposure, prior cancer history, family history of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as decided by the patient and their doctor.

Private insurance companies may have different screening guidelines, so please check with your personal insurance carrier for their criteria.

What does the lung screening program include?

The Lung Screening Program at UM BWMC offers comprehensive lung care for referred, high-risk patients. Before any treatment is provided, the program's medical staff work to understand the patient as an individual and learn about their health history. Likewise, new enrollees learn more about the program during a one-on-one meeting with the program's advanced practice provider.

The next step is to get a closer look at the patient's health by completing a low-dose screening CT scan. Every lung CT result is reviewed by a radiologist who uses software to help detect abnormalities. Scans with positive findings are further reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians at UM BWMC comprised of pulmonologists, radiologists and thoracic surgeons. Results are provided directly to the referring physician to be discussed with the patient.

The program is designed to keep your lungs healthy long-term, and that means staying in touch with our specialists. To help keep you on track, the program will let you know when it is time for your next scan.

What are the components of the lung screening?

The screening for lung cancer is done using non-invasive, low-dose CT technology. It is performed by a radiology technologist and takes less than 15 minutes to complete. These scans are completed in Advanced Radiology, located close to the Lung Screening Program in the Aiello Center. No blood work, nor intravenous contrast is needed. A physician referral is required.

What happens with my scan results?

Every lung CT result is reviewed by a radiologist who uses software to help detect abnormalities. Scans with positive findings are further reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team here at UM BWMC that includes a thoracic surgeon, pulmonologist and radiologist. Results are provided directly to the referring physician to be discussed with the participant.

Where are screenings offered and how can I sign up?

The Lung Screening Program at the Tate Cancer Center at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center is located on the second floor of the Tate Cancer Center (305 Hospital Drive, in Glen Burnie). This is where appointments are held, such as the initial consultation. The Low-Dose Lung Cancer Screening CT is offered at Advanced Radiology (203 Hospital Drive, Suite 100, in Glen Burnie). Physicians wanting to schedule a patient or patients that have already received a referral for the screening from their physician should call the program at 410-553-8150.

Is the screening covered by insurance?

This procedure is now covered by Medicare and most private insurance companies. Please check with your insurance provider to determine coverage.