Lung cancer screening

Also known as: Low-dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer
Watch a video featuring Dr. Michael Skokan, pulmonologist, describing the need for lung cancer screening.

Information provided in part by Lung Cancer Alliance

What is screening?

When people who have no symptoms are tested to detect disease, that process is called “screening".

  • Screening for cancer increases the chance of being diagnosed at an early stage.
  • Early stage diagnosis is associated with much higher cure rates.

Should I be screened?

If you are a current or former smoker, your risk of developing lung cancer may be up to 25 times higher than someone who never smoked. A CT scan is the only proven effective way to screen for lung cancer.

If you are considering being screened for lung cancer, it is important that you and your healthcare team make this informed decision together. There are important benefits to being screened for lung cancer, but as with all tests, there are also risks to consider. You should discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.

Providence uses Medicare screening criteria:

  • Adults between 55-77 years old
  • Person who has been an active cigarette smoker within the past 15 years
  • Person with a greater than or equal to 30 pack-year smoking history (Example: Smoking 1 pack per day x 30 years = 30 pack years; smoking 2 packs per day x 15 years = 30 pack years)
  • Person who has not had a CT Chest scan within the past 12 months

How long should I be screened?

Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for more than 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.

What are the risks?

Talk to your primary care provider about screening. Your primary care provider will review screening criteria and discuss risk and benefits of screening with you. If you meet criteria, your provider will submit the lung cancer screening order. Our scheduling department will call to make an appointment at a Providence screening center near you.

Use this lung cancer screening decision aid to determine if screening is right for you.

Why Providence?

At Providence Cancer Center:

  • We use low-dose CT scans, which results in less radiation exposure than standard CT imaging.
  • We comply with all comprehensive standards based on best practices for controlling screening quality, radiation dose and diagnostic procedures.
  • Providence has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence by Lung Cancer Alliance, which means it has committed to following specific protocols and core best practices to ensure the highest quality of screening and follow up care.
  • We work with a multidisciplinary clinical team to follow patients from screening to diagnosis and disease management based on best practices.

How to get screened?

Those interested in lung cancer screening should contact their primary care provider.

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