Free ME from Lung Cancer applauds Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for drafting a decision to allow Medicare coverage of low-dose spiral CT scans for at-risk patients for lung cancer. High-risk groups are defined as age 55 to 74 with a 30-pack year history of smoking.

In 2010, the National Cancer Institute confirmed in its randomized study, the National Lung Screening Trail, that this diagnostic tool can detect lung cancer early when more treatment options are available. This study concluded that overall deaths can be reduced by at least 20 percent.

What does this mean for people in Maine? According to the Maine Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 16,000 current smokers older than 64 would be eligible for this potentially lifesaving diagnostic test.

Across the United States, thousands of lives would be saved by allowing our seniors access to this lifesaving test, which is currently offered to those who have private insurance.

Free ME from Lung Cancer is a the only nonprofit organization based in Maine that is dedicated solely to lung cancer patients, research and education. For more information, visit www.freemefromlungcancer.org or call Violette at 215-9035.

Deb Violette, president

Free ME from Lung Cancer

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