Lung Cancer Care and Treatment
Baptist Health System is pleased to announce the creation of the South Texas Lung Institute, a multi-disciplinary collaboration of area physicians and health care resources with St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital to provide a high quality, well-coordinated lung cancer treatment program.
The South Texas Lung Institute (the Institute) is the first initiative in South Texas to offer a navigated program with one call access so individuals with high risk can be referred to the correct resource in a timely fashion. If the patient meets the criteria, the Institute’s Navigator will schedule a screen which consists of a low dose, non-contrast computerized tomography (CT) scan.
Screening criteria is based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines which considers the following individuals to be at risk:
A. Asymptomatic individuals in the age range of 55-77 years of age who have a history of smoking the equivalent or greater than 30 pack years (a pack year is the number of cigarette packs smoked every day multiplied by the number of years of smoking) and if an ex-smoker, quit within the last 15 years.
B. People at or older than 50 years who have a history equal to or greater than 20 pack years and have one of the following additional risk factors:
- Diagnosis of COPD or pulmonary fibrosis
- Radon exposure
- Occupational exposures such as asbestos, silica, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes, nickel
- Personal history of cancer or family history of cancer
Patients who meet the criteria should be referred to the Institute at (210) 297-LUNG for evaluation and CT scan scheduling. The scan costs $160.93 (cash rate) unless covered by the patient’s insurance. Medicare will now cover lung cancer screening with low dose CT once per year for beneficiaries who meet all of the program criteria. Each participating center will send copies of the screening results to the referring primary care physician and the Institute’s Navigator. The Navigator will work the Institute’s tumor council to recommend next steps for the care of the patient to the primary care physician. Excellent, timely communication with our referring physicians is a key priority of the Institute.