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Spiral CT Scanning

To check your risk for lung cancer, take the quick quiz at Lung Cancer Alliance Risk Assessment.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), The American College of Chest Physicians, The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Cancer Society have recommended screening for lung cancer for high risk individuals who smoke or stopped smoking within the last 15 years.

The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) suggest that patients who have the CT Scan lower their risk of dying from lung cancer.

What are the Functions of the Lungs?

The lung receives oxygen and expels carbon dioxide from our body cells and is made up of spongy pinkish tissue.  The lungs take up most of the space within the chest.  Smoking impacts the lungs and over many years, cancer can develop.  Cancer usually starts in the lining of the lungs.  Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women.

What is CT Lung Screening?

CT screening is painless and uses low dose radiation to screen for lung cancer in less than 30 minutes. The radiologist looks at different angles of your lungs and can find a tumor that a regular x-ray cannot. Most lung cancer is not found until stage 3 or 4 and why lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined. By finding lung cancer at an early stage, medical treatment can begin when cancer still has promising survival rates.  For more information see the NCCN Lung Cancer Screening Guide.

How is CT Lung Screening Performed?

During exam, patients lie on their backs on an exam table and extend their arms over their heads. They hold their breath briefly as the scanner takes pictures from different angles.  This video walks you through the procedure.

CT Scan

Why is Lung Screening so important?

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States each year. It is estimated that 80% of lung cancers can be cured if found early. CT scans can find very small tumors that can be safely removed before the disease spreads to other parts of the body.

CT Scan Lungs

Why Should I get a Spiral CT Scan?

As a current or former smoker, your risk of developing lung cancer is greatly increased compared to people who never smoked and the main reason for a CT scan.

Lung Cancer screening is recommended for the following reasons:

  • History of lung cancer
  • 30 pack or more smoking history
  • Past history of smoking (quit within the past 15 years)
  • Repeated exposure to secondhand smoke or have family history or history of COPD
  • Between the ages of 55 and 74

How do I talk with my doctor about getting a Spiral CT Scan?

Talk with your doctor about your smoking history and other lung issues including your family history. If your doctor thinks a spiral CT would be beneficial for you, ask for a referral to a screening center experience in reviewing low dose Spiral CT’s and lung cancer early detection.

What about the cost of this screening?

Cost may vary so it is important to check with your insurance carrier to see if you are covered. If not, your out of pocket cost should not be too much to prevent you from having this potential lifesaving procedure.

To request more information on Spiral CT Scans, please complete this form.

Early lung cancer detection can save lives for current and former smokers. Chest x-rays are not useful in finding early lung cancer. Early diagnosis of lung cancer gives you the best chance of surviving lung cancer.


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