Insurance key to people getting CT scans for lung cancer

Apr 3, 2014

The Roswell Park Cancer Institute says a lack of insurance coverage is a barrier to a new form of cancer screenings.

A study from Roswell  Park and the Medical University of South Carolina found a majority of current and former smokers would welcome being screened for lung cancer if their insurance covered C-T scans.  But a third of respondents say the lack of insurance is stopping them from pursuing such scans. 

Roswell Park's Dr. Andrew Hyland said the technology is still relatively new, so issues such as who will pay for the screenings have not been resolved. 

But Hyland says lives would be saved.

"Without question," he said.  "Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer.  We now have a proven screening tool.  There's a great opportunity to save a lot of lives."

Hyland says studies show a 20 percent reduction in the mortality rate in lung cancers found through C-T scans as opposed to traditional chest x-rays.