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.

What is lung cancer 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.
  • In lung cancer, studies have shown that the disease can be detected at an early stage with higher cure rates using a low dose spiral CT scan.

Who should get screened for lung cancer?
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, issued recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems on who should be screened for lung cancer. The USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.

What is my risk for lung cancer? 
Find out if you meet criteria for screening by using a risk calculator.
 
Talk to your primary care provider about screening. Your physician can refer you to Providence Lung Cancer Screening program. Our navigator will contact you for a brief phone consultation to review screening criteria and discuss risk and benefits of screening.
 
Why should I be screened at Providence?
At Providence Cancer Center:

  • We screen with low-dose CT scan for lung cancer, which results in less radiation exposure than standard CT imaging.
  • We meet all specified USPSTF requirements.
  • We comply with comprehensive standards based on best practices for controlling screening quality, radiation dose and diagnostic procedures such as those developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program.
  • We meet the criteria developed by Lung Cancer Alliance for Lung Cancer Screening Excellence and Continuum of Care.
  • We work with a multidisciplinary clinical team to carry out a coordinated continuum of care for screening, diagnosis and disease management based on best practices which include:
    • Thoracic (chest) radiologists, pulmonologists, surgeons and pathologists to evaluate the images and specimens obtained in screening, diagnostic tests, and treatment
    • Specialized, dedicated thoracic (lung) surgeons with extensive experience in minimally-invasive techniques who are committed to annual public reporting on surgical outcomes
    • Medical oncologists and radiation oncologists focused on the care of patients with lung cancer
    • Multiple weekly meetings involving all lung cancer specialists to review cases, make recommendations for diagnosis and treatment, and discuss patient care

How do I contact Providence to learn more about lung cancer screening?
Those interested in lung cancer screening should contact their primary care provider for a referral to our program, or they may contact our screening navigator directly.

Resources
Lung Cancer Alliance risk calculator - Am I at Risk of Lung Cancer
American Lung Association – Risk Calculator
National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for patients – Lung Cancer Screening

Forms Instructions

Patient resources for lung cancer screening

Lung Cancer Alliance has produced three brochures with helpful information for lung cancer screening patients and their families: Understanding...