American smokers who have had a longer smoking history will now have their screenings for lung cancer from Medicare. The federal government made an announcement on Monday saying that they would cover around an estimate of about 4 million Americans, out of which many are at a risk for lung cancer and other diseases related to the lungs. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made this particular decision on Monday, would now extend its coverage for CT scans to Medicare beneficiaries, those of who have been smoking a pack a cigarettes per day for over 30 years now.

To address that problem, Dr. Richard C. Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society, stated that health advocates recommended that screening be offered only in centers accredited for that purpose, and that each center follow a standardized set of procedures and keep a register of patients to track results. This is even applicable to quitters, who have quit smoking around 15 years ago. They wouldn’t be charged for screenings and all screening would thus be provided by Medicare free of cost for people till 74 years of age. “This is important validation, and it ends the debate,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, president of the Lung Cancer Alliance, an advocacy group. “Screening saves lives. The public needs to know that.”

This is yet a proposal, which would be open from changes or comments as received from the American societies, citizens and various other medical associations. The disease has been claiming 160,000 lives per year now, and hence even those at highest risks would be covered under Medicare. It would thus be open for all sort of public comments for around 30 days now, as it would be covering a large American populous of around 10 million.

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