Low-dose CT Lung Cancer Screening
Eastern Radiologists offers Low-dose CT Lung Cancer Screening for patients with a high risk of developing lung cancer—but no signs or symptoms. This low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) chest scan produces high-quality images that can facilitate the detection of many lung diseases and abnormalities. What’s more, it uses up to 90% less ionizing radiation than a conventional chest CT scan.
Early detection saves lives.
CT scans combine special X-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple, cross-sectional images of the body. These high-resolution images are ideal for the detection of lung nodules that could be cancerous. Screening of patients who have a significant history of smoking allows for early detection, which increases the likelihood of survival. Eastern Radiologists’ advanced CT scanners can complete this test quickly with excellent image quality and low radiation exposure. Then, our experienced, board-certified radiologists interpret the scans and provide follow-up recommendations to your doctor based on the exam results. If you are a long-term smoker, ask your doctor about CT lung cancer screening and request a referral to Eastern Radiologists.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should consider lung cancer screening?
Screening is now covered by Medicare and recommended for individuals at high risk for lung cancer, which means they meet the following criteria:
- Age 55 – 77 years old
- A “30 pack year” or greater smoking history (i.e., one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
- A current smoker or a former smoker who quit within the last 15 years
How prevalent is lung cancer these days?
Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and worldwide. About 85% of lung cancer occurs in current or former cigarette smokers—and there are an estimated 94 million current and former smokers nationwide, many of whom are at high risk of developing the disease. Lung cancer that is caught early, or before it’s spread to other areas of the body, is more successfully treated. Unfortunately, lung cancer is typically diagnosed after it has spread outside the lung.
What are the benefits of low-dose CT lung cancer screening?
- Lung cancer screening with LDCT has been proven to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer in patients at high risk. Cancers found by screening are often at an earlier, more treatable stage.
- CT scanning is painless and noninvasive, plus it’s fast—important for patients who have trouble holding their breath.
- No radiation remains in the patient's body after a CT examination.
- There are no immediate side effects.
- Low-dose CT scans produce high-quality images while using up to 90% less ionizing radiation than a conventional chest CT scan.
What else should I know about CT lung cancer screening?
- Health insurance companies may not cover the cost of an LDCT scan to screen for lung cancer. Medicare, however, does cover this screening.
- Not all of the cancers detected by screening will be found in the early stage of the disease. Thus, if the cancer has spread, the screening may not improve your health or help you live longer.
- False positive results can occur, which means a test appears to be abnormal but no lung cancer is found. Abnormal findings may require additional testing, which can add to risk, cost and anxiety.
- False negative results also can occur, which means test results appear to be normal even when lung cancer is present. A patient who receives a false-negative test result may delay seeking medical care.