Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Lung Cancer Screening

Lead by a team of experts, with decades of experience in lung cancer diagnosis, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center was the first lung cancer screening program in South Florida to be sanctioned by the Lung Cancer Alliance. Research has shown that undergoing a lung cancer screening can lead to earlier diagnosis and possibly save your life. To schedule an appointment or speak with a specialist about the approved lung cancer screening program at Sylvester call 305-243-9069 or email

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the nation and the second leading cause of overall deaths in the United States. Early detection of lung cancer is important because it leads to increased survival rates and a decrease in lung cancer related deaths.

Screenings for cancer means testing for cancer before there are any symptoms. Since symptoms for lung cancer do not normally present until later stages of cancer, screenings are the only way to catch lung cancer in early, more treatable stages. Until now, there has been no approved method for lung cancer screening. But supported by a recent National Cancer Institute study the use of Computed Tomography (CT) Imaging has proven successful, delivering a 20% improvement in lung cancer survival rates and securing the backing of The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Based on this evidence, Sylvester has taken a lead role in perfecting the use of CT Imaging over the past 10 years to detect lung cancer in four of its locations: Miami, Deerfield Beach, Plantation and Kendall. Our CT scanners can obtain multiple images with great speed and precision, allowing patients to spend less time in the radiation scanners, without sacrificing an accurate diagnosis.

Per the USPSTF’s issued recommendation, CT Imaging Screenings for patients at high risk will now become a service covered by insurance, as a positive step in decreasing the number of lung cancer related deaths. Individuals are considered at high risk and can be screened if: they are ≥40-85 years old, currently smoke or have previously smoked, have family history of lung cancer or with any additional risk factors, but two of these criteria must be satisfied.

As of January 2015, all patients who meet the USPSTF criteria will be covered by their health insurance for lung cancer screenings. Currently Medicare does not cover this screening test, but most insurance companies already do. For a patient without screening benefits in their insurance policy, the screening would cost $149 out of pocket.

Sylvester’s Lung Cancer Screening Team:
Richard J. Thurer MD, Thoracic Surgeon
Dao Nguyen MD, Thoracic Surgeon
Nestor Villamizar-Ortiz MD, Thoracic Surgeon
Gregory Holt MD, Pulmonologist
Elio Donna MD, Pulmonologist
Marie J. Charles, ARNP

The Lung Cancer Screening Group at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is working to change lung cancer statistics. For more information or to schedule a screening, please call Marie Charles at 305-243-9069 or email at