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How do I get screened?


Formyfamily

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Before I start, I will say that I am not a hypochondriac but I am cautious and I know this disease well enough to know that early detection is the key.

My paternal grandmother died of lung cancer at 41 yrs old - don't know what kind and I don't know if she smoked at all.  I watched my dad die of non small cell lung cancer and never smoked a day in his life.  Diagnosed in March and dead by Sept..  His only symptom for about a yr was weight loss.  No cough, no pain, nothing.

I'm 45 and I've been feeling lousy lately.  Weak, tired, loss of appetite, hoarseness, and needles and pain in my back.  Had blood work done and it shows mild anemia.  In my mind a ct scan just in case would be beneficial but nope.  Drs. insist that I don't have a cough and lung cancer isn't hereditary and I'm too young for lung cancer, etc.. so no ct scan for me.  

I'm at the point that I'm willing to pay out of pocket for one but before I do, is there anyway I can talk a dr into giving me an rx?  I never went to med school but I kinda feel like their text book criteria is part of the reason for so many diagnoses that come too late.

 

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You should definitely ask your primary physician or a pulmonologist for a chest CT scan. It is not expensive if insurance won't cover, around $125 or so. At a minimum, a chest Xray. Don't take no for an answer. I was mis-diagnosed twice (allergies and acid reflux) before being diagnosed in October 2019 (no family history). Persistence is the name of our game. 

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My family lives in NJ.  When I was diagnosed with lung cancer I suggested my sister get screened.  There of course was “no criteria” for a CT scan with a LC family history.    I did some research which revealed this was a very common barrier.  Many imaging places now have low cost self pay options for low dose CT scans.  Fees were about $99 in West Orange up in NNJ.   

Like Judy, I was misdiagnosed for months so being assertive is the way to go. 
 

 

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Thank you both. I honestly had no idea ct scans were so affordable.  When I've googled in the past I saw prices in the $700 - $1250 range.    I have a follow up with my pcp next week and if he doen't budge I'll make my own appt somewhere.  West Orange is less than 30 minutes from me so I could absolutely go there if I don't find anything closer.   

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You have received great advice.  Just wanted to pass along a little more information about lung cancer screening: https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/lung-cancer-101/screening-early-detection

The low dose CT scan might be a lower price than a full CT scan and that could be where the difference in price is.  Our local hosptial offers them to the community a few times a year at a low price almost at a health fair type event.  But I'm sorry you have to go out on your own and that you can't just get an appointment from your PCP.  Even if they can't write the order for the CT, they might have ideas of places you could go and pay out of pocket.  Please keep us updated!

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Xrays are cheap. Non contrsst CT scans are in the 500 dollar range. If you can afford and even think you have some hypochondria in you (we ALL do BTW) it might be worth it. If only for the Peace of mind

Your doctor will huff and puff and tell you how bad an idea it was....which is why you will tell him you have a scan scheduled for next week. (LIE).

He Will order a CT scan STAT is my guess.

Peace

Tom

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Thanks everyone.   My appt with my pcp is on 8/3.  If he doesn't budge, I will definitely self pay for radiology. 

It's just so frustrating that I can get easily get a colonoscopy or a mammogram with no family history but shortness of breath with a family history of lung cancer won't even raise an eyebrow.  I feel like I know the symptoms better than my doc.  

I can only hope that one day if we can't find a cure for cancer that they'll at least be better access to screening or even better, a simple test like the PSA to nip it in the bud before it becomes deadly.

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