CT lung cancer screening is the first and only cost-effective test proven to significantly reduce lung-cancer deaths. The goal of lung cancer screening is to detect lung cancer at a very early stage, when it is most likely to be cured. A study found that screening individuals with low dose CT scans could reduce lung cancer mortality by 20 percent compared to a chest x-ray. The typical radiation exposure during a low-dose chest CT is much less than a conventional CT.

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. Although people who have never smoked cigarettes can get lung cancer, smoking remains the strongest and most important preventable cause of this disease. Other risk factors remain important in lung cancer causation, but their effects are small relative to the impact of smoking on lung cancer.

A Low-dose Chest CT May Be Useful in Individuals

Medicare Patients

  • Ages 55–74
  • Asymptomatic (no signs/symptoms)
  • Current or former (quit within past 15 years) smoker for 30 pack years or longer
    • One pack year = One pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years
  • No history of cancer, or who have been cancer-free for five years o Does not apply to individuals with non-melanoma skin cancer
    • Patients with cured or active cancer undergoing standard yearly surveillance chest CTs as part of their cancer care will not need an additional low-dose CT of the chest

Additional interventions are required and should include smoking cessation counseling or referral for all current smokers. Depending on your results, additional testing may be recommended by a physician.

A written order is required, with the Lung Screening Eligibility Form complete and attached to order.