CT Low Dose Lung Cancer Screening
What is a CT Lung Cancer Screening?
A chest CT lung cancer screening is a low-dose (low-radiation) chest CT exam used to detect early stage lung cancer before signs or symptoms appear. The screening may detect lung abnormalities or nodules that would not otherwise be visible on a plain chest x-ray. Many nodules will be non-cancerous and require no treatment. Some nodules may require further testing.
Who should have this screening?
CT Lung Cancer Screening is considered an annual exam, and intended for individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Men and women who are between the ages of 55 to 80 (Medicare ages 55-77) and
- Current or former smokers (quit within last 15 years) and
- 30 pack year history (number of packs per day x number of years smoked)
Why is this exam done?
CT lung screening is a noninvasive, painless procedure that uses low-dose x-rays to screen the lungs for cancer in just 30 seconds. A CT lung screening allows the radiologist to look at different levels, or slices, of the lungs using a rotating X-ray beam. It is performed on a multislice spiral computed tomography (CT) scanner and can detect smaller nodules or cancer than standard chest X-rays. A tumor or nodule is a mass of cells that grows on the lungs. It can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). By detecting malignant tumors in an early stage with CT lung screening, the cancer cells can be treated at a time when the cancer still has promising survival rates and is localized to the lungs.
What happens after my screening?
Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The results will be sent to your healthcare provider, so that they can review the results with you and determine if any follow-up is needed.
Is the screening covered by insurance?
If the screening criteria, as met as mentioned above, CT Lung Cancer Screenings are covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare, with a referral from a healthcare provider. Be sure to check with your insurance plan to see if coverage is available for you.