Medicare to support lung cancer screenings for smokers

Medicare to support lung cancer screenings for smokers

Health care authorities have said that Medicare will now fund lung cancer annual screening for people above the age of 55 years.

Experts have said on Thursday that Medicare is expected to save tens of thousands of lives across the country as lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Supporters of screening has been urging for it since several years.

Health care providers have said that the costly computed tomography scans (CT-scan) used for tracking lung cancer in its early stage, will not be beneficial for many. However, Medicare and the supporters have said that the screening has its benefits and it will save many lives in the country.

Studies have shown that the CT-scans, which cost $250-$300 each, might be able to prevent up to 20 percent of future deaths from lung cancer. Experts said that lung cancer is the prime cancer killer in the country. Studies have also shown that the lung cancer annual screening will save as many lives as mammograms and colonoscopies.

Dr. Patrick Conway, chief MO at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced the decision on Thursday. Medicare plans will now cover single, low-dose CT-scan a year for people aged 55-77, who have been a smoker.

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