Central Maine Medical Center's Early Lung Cancer Screening Program (ELCSP)
The goal of LDCT lung screening is to save lives. Without LDCT lung screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms. At that time, the cancer is much harder to treat. LDCT lung screening is recommended for the following groups of people who are at high risk for lung cancer:
- People ages 55−80
- Who have at least a 30 pack year smoking history (www.shouldiscreen.com)
- People who still smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
Those who have symptoms of a lung condition at the time of screening, such as a shortness of breath or coughing up blood, are not eligible.
Call (207) 795-8354 to see if you qualify and to schedule your exam. Please feel free to discuss whether this is right for you with your healthcare provider prior to calling.
Early Lung Cancer Screening Program Process
The Early Lung Cancer Screening Program process begins over the phone with a personalized lung cancer risk assessment. Patients that are deemed high risk will be scheduled for a shared decision making visit with a provider. During this visit patients will receive education and counseling about lung cancer screening with LDCT. Smoking cessation counseling and treatment resources are available to interested patients. LDCT scans are performed in CMMC's Radiology Department in Lewiston. The procedure is non-invasive, requires no preparation and takes no more than 10 minutes from start to finish. Results are conveyed to the patient and their primary care provider within 1 to 2 weeks. If there is an abnormal finding the Lung Navigator will work closely with the patient, patient's primary care provider and/or pulmonologist. If patients are in need of a primary care provider or a referral the Lung Navigator can help match a provider to the patient's needs. . If patients receive a recommendation to repeat a LDCT scan earlier than a year, they will be referred to Central Maine Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine for a more intensive follow-up.
CMMC Lung Cancer Screening Center
American College of Radiology (ACR) officially designated CMMC as a Lung Cancer Screening Center in December 2015. CMMC is 1 out of 7 hospitals in the state of Maine with this accreditation.
Cost of Lung Screening for Patients
Medicare typically covers the entire cost of lung cancer screening for patients. Other insurances are covering this screening at variable rates.
The Lung Cancer Screening Program is offering the LDCT scan at a reduced rate of $270, if are uninsured. Grant funding to help cover the cost of the LDCT scan may be available for patients who are uninsured or underinsured. Please note that a shared decision making visit is required along with the LDCT scan.
Please contact the Lung Navigator at 207-795-8354 for more information.
History of the I-ELCAP Program
Central Maine Medical Center's (CMMC) experience with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) began with the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP) study in May of 2009. Since I-ELCAP's initiation, CMMC has enrolled and screened 561 participants with LDCT scans. By using the standardized I-ELCAP CT screening protocol, CMMC's multidisciplinary team identified 5 lung cancer cases and continues to monitor 75 cases for suspicious nodules. Research within the I-ELCAP network is ongoing, incorporating larger pools of patient data to reaffirm early findings and suggest new directions for future research and recommendations. CMMC is one of two centers in New England collaborating with this network and expect to achieve early diagnosis, treatment and ultimate cure of lung cancer through the rapid dissemination and advancement of research.
I-ELCAP's existence at CMMC coincided with the National Cancer Institute's National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST). Over a 21 month period the NLST enrolled 53,454 subjects at 33 medical centers across the Unites States. Subjects were equally assigned to either a LDCT scan group or a chest x-ray (CXR) group. To qualify for the NLST volunteers needed to; be asymptomatic, age 55-74 years old, have a 30 pack a year or more smoking history and be a current smoker or have quit smoking within the last 15 years. Final results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in August 2011. On average, over the 3 rounds of screening exams, 24.2% of the LDCT screens were positive and 6.9% of the CXRs were positive. The LDCT group demonstrated a reduction in lung cancer mortality by 20% and all-cause mortality by 6.7%. The results were deemed statistically significant and enough to discontinue the trial early.
Based on the NLST findings numerous societies such as U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and many others made similar recommendations for LDCT screening in high risk patients. In February of 2015 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination that provides Medicare coverage for LDCT scans when screening for lung cancer. Based on the experience acquired with the I-ELCAP study, the findings of the NLST as well as recommendations from the various societies, CMMC's Early Lung Cancer Screening Program (ELCSP) was created. This program uses a multidisciplinary approach that includes various specialties; radiologists, pulmonologists, medical oncologists, thoracic surgeons, and radiation oncologists, all working together to deliver exceptional care.
Meet the Providers
Carmine Frumiento, MD
Danielle George, PA
James Gillen, PA
Kevin Quigley, PA