Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, and three out of four people diagnosed with lung cancer are at a stage when it’s incurable, locally advanced, or metastatic. The five-year survival rate is less than 5 percent with stage IV disease. If lung cancer is detected at its earliest stage, and surgically removed the five-year survival rate is close to 53 percent. Yet only 15 percent of cases are diagnosed at such an early stage.
Sanford Health is at the forefront of lung cancer screening, utilizing imaging technology and minimally invasive surgical techniques to detect the disease in its earliest stages. For example, our providers use low-dose computed tomography scans to seek nodules in the lungs of patients with long-term histories of smoking. These nodules are subsequently stained, removed and biopsied to determine whether they are cancerous.
Who should be tested?
Screening for lung cancer is only recommended for those at a high risk for lung cancer. This includes:
- Men and woman between the ages of 55 and 77 who are current smokers
- OR have quit within the past 15 years
- AND have a smoking history of at least 30-pack years (One pack per day for 30 years, two packs per day for 15 years or three packs per day for 10 years.)
- Have not displayed any of the following symptoms in the last twelve weeks: New or changing cough, shortness of breath, hemoptysis, fever or chest pain, unexplained weight loss.
To schedule a lung cancer screening, call your primary care physician or Sanford Health at (605) 312-LUNG.
Sanford Health no longer offers a reduced cash price for lung cancer screenings. Please, check with your insurance provider for eligibility and coverage.