CME: Low-Dose CT for Lung Cancer Screening

CME: Low-Dose CT for Lung Cancer Screening

The American Thoracic Society and American College of Chest Physicians recently developed a policy statement on the successful implementation of comprehensive low-radiation-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening programs that are safe, effective, and sustainable. This type of screening has been shown to reduce risks for lung cancer-related mortality. However, there is a continued need for guidance in this area. LDCT screening is a complex process, and few healthcare providers have experience managing the challenges that come with starting these programs. “There is an important need for an infrastructure for the initial screening CT scan as well as for the evaluation of pulmonary nodules and other abnormalities that are commonly detected on screening,” says Renda Soylemez Wiener, MD, MPH, who helped develop the policy statement document. “There is also a need to be prepared to treat any cancers that may be detected.” The policy statement refers to three phases of LDCT lung cancer screening program development: 1) planning, 2) implementation, and 3) maintenance.   Planning “For the planning phase, we recommend the coordination of a multidisciplinary steering committee to oversee the screening program,” says Dr. Wiener. “This includes representation from pulmonology, thoracic surgery, radiology, primary care, medical center leadership, oncology, and radiation oncology. We also recommend educating and engaging primary care providers to ensure they understand the nuances of lung cancer screening. In most cases, primary care providers will be the ones who need to offer lung cancer screening to their patients. They will also need to be involved in the shared decision-making process required by Medicare.” Dr. Wiener explains that obtaining buy-in from local leadership is important in order to...
Low-Dose CT for Lung Cancer Screening

Low-Dose CT for Lung Cancer Screening

The American Thoracic Society and American College of Chest Physicians recently developed a policy statement on the successful implementation of comprehensive low-radiation-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening programs that are safe, effective, and sustainable. This type of screening has been shown to reduce risks for lung cancer-related mortality. However, there is a continued need for guidance in this area. LDCT screening is a complex process, and few healthcare providers have experience managing the challenges that come with starting these programs. “There is an important need for an infrastructure for the initial screening CT scan as well as for the evaluation of pulmonary nodules and other abnormalities that are commonly detected on screening,” says Renda Soylemez Wiener, MD, MPH, who helped develop the policy statement document. “There is also a need to be prepared to treat any cancers that may be detected.” The policy statement refers to three phases of LDCT lung cancer screening program development: 1) planning, 2) implementation, and 3) maintenance.   Planning “For the planning phase, we recommend the coordination of a multidisciplinary steering committee to oversee the screening program,” says Dr. Wiener. “This includes representation from pulmonology, thoracic surgery, radiology, primary care, medical center leadership, oncology, and radiation oncology. We also recommend educating and engaging primary care providers to ensure they understand the nuances of lung cancer screening. In most cases, primary care providers will be the ones who need to offer lung cancer screening to their patients. They will also need to be involved in the shared decision-making process required by Medicare.” Dr. Wiener explains that obtaining buy-in from local leadership is important in order to...