Lung Cancer Screening

The Lung Cancer Screening: Winning Strategies for Program Development special collection features case studies from radiology practices across the nation that have led the implementation of successful lung cancer screening programs. The collection also includes discussion questions, an action plan, a quiz, and other resources to help you develop your own lung cancer screening program.

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More people in the United States die of lung cancer than any other cancer. The disease’s mortality rate is high because it often goes undiagnosed until the later stages, when treatment is difficult. But it doesn’t have to be that way — and we can change it.

Early detection is key, and the best way to find lung cancer before it becomes symptomatic is through low-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening. The results of the National Lung Screening Trial showed that LDCT lung cancer screening saves lives, leading CMS to issue a national coverage decision for eligible patients in 2015.

Although CMS and most private insurers now cover lung cancer screening, the majority of the estimated 8 million eligible Americans are not enrolled in a screening program. We must stand up to ensure patients have access to and are informed about this life-saving care. The ACR Patient- and Family-Centered Care Commission’s Lung Cancer Screening 2.0 Steering Committee is committed to empowering radiologists to lead screening programs.

Implementing a lung cancer screening program takes commitment, resources, and time. But radiologists are well-positioned to manage these programs and ensure patients are guided into appropriate care pathways. It’s one more way we can leverage our expertise to ensure patients receive the care they need, when they need it. It also gives us another opportunity to interact with patients and witness the meaningful impact of our work.

The Imaging 3.0 case studies in this issue highlight how radiologists across the country have led the development of successful lung cancer screening programs. Each article details the steps the radiologists took to build their programs and enroll patients, while also outlining the results and next steps. Along with these valuable stories, this issue includes resources you can use to start or advance your own lung cancer screening program.

Together, we must expand the availability of lung cancer screening to ensure all patients who need it are enrolled. With lung cancer accounting for 25% of all U.S. cancer deaths — lives depend on it.

Debra S. Dyer, MD, FACRDebra S. Dyer, MD, FACR
Chair, ACR Lung Cancer Screening 2.0 Steering Committee

Case Studies in this Issue

A Proactive Role for Radiology

In partnership with referring PCPs, radiologists in Boston built a life-saving lung cancer screening program for high-risk patients across their hospital network.
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Breathe Easier

Indiana radiologists work alongside care partners to create a successful lung cancer screening program that addresses a population health need.
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Early Detection Matters

Radiologists in Michigan collaborate with administrators and care partners to develop a successful lung cancer screening clinic and enhance population health.
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Lung Screening in an Urban Setting

Radiologists in the Bronx lead a lung cancer screening program targeting an underserved, high-risk urban population.
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Lung Screening Solutions

North Dakota radiologists collaborate with referring physicians to administer lung CT screening for high-risk patients.
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Patient Forward

A multidisciplinary team invites patients and their families to a weekly thoracic oncology clinic at Elkhart General Hospital.
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Screen Time

The nation’s flagship military hospital has developed an effective lung cancer screening program for the Department of Defense.
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