Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women worldwide. Research shows that low-dose CT scans are the most successful in detecting lung cancer in those at risk.
Low Dose CT Scan Lung Cancer Screening
The Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health is committed to bringing awareness and accessibility to all people at high risk by offering a low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) lung screening to current and former smokers who have no symptoms of lung cancer. The low-dose CT screening is proven to be more effective in detecting lung cancer than X-rays by detecting suspicious nodules.
Who qualifies for lung screening?
- Adults ages 55-80
- Current smokers with at least a 30 pack-year history
- Former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years with a 30-pack-year history
- No current signs or symptoms of lung cancer
Talk with your doctor about a screening
A CT scan of the chest requires a physician's order. Please talk with your doctor if you are interested in having this screening. Once your order is approved, you will be contacted to schedule your lung screening.
Frequently asked questions
Low-dose CT lung screenings are offered at the following locations:
A lung cancer screening with low-dose CT takes pictures of the lungs to look for potentially cancerous spots. CT images are better at finding abnormalities than a traditional chest X-ray. A screening trial of 53,454 current or former heavy smokers conducted by the National Cancer Institute in 2010 revealed that participants who received low-dose helical CT scans had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer than participants who received standard chest X-rays. The amount of radiation received during a low-dose CT lung cancer screening is less than the amount received annually from naturally occurring radiation that’s present in the environment.
The hospitals of HCA Midwest Health utilize a lung screening information and tracking system, called LungView, for low-dose CT lung screenings. This system is only used for lung screening patients. The LungView system allows the patients’ CT findings to be tracked annually and can follow any trend or variances that are found for each patient.
A key to successful treatment of lung cancer is early detection of the disease. The primary purpose of this lung cancer screening is to detect and diagnose lung cancer at an early stage in order to improve treatment options and effectiveness. The images acquired are reviewed for the presence of lung nodules, masses or other abnormalities suspicious for lung cancer. If you are age 55 to 80 and have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years, your risk for lung cancer is high enough to be screened.
This screening program is for patients age 55 to 80 who have smoked at least the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years with no history of cancer and who do not have symptoms of lung cancer identified by a doctor. Screenings remain an individual decision that should be discussed with a healthcare provider who can assist you in weighing the risks and benefits of the screening.
A CT scan can potentially pick up spots in the lungs that are ultimately revealed to be not cancerous, but their presence may lead to anxiety about the findings. The process to determine if these spots are benign or malignant can include additional procedures to help diagnose the findings and, in a small percentage of cases, may involve surgeries that would otherwise not be recommended. Also, the small dose of radiation from the exam poses a small and negligible risk of causing cancer.
Please check with your insurance provider to confirm screening coverage.
During your screening you will be lying flat on the CT table while the scanner rotates around you, gathering images of the inside of your lungs. The CT images provide the radiologist with detailed information that will be used to detect and diagnose disease. The entire screening typically requires a single breath hold and is usually completed in less than ten seconds.
A radiologist will interpret the exam. The results will be provided to your ordering physician to discuss with you.