The Lung Cancer Screening Program at NorthCrest Medical Center is designed for patients between the ages of 55 and 77 who have a smoking history of at least 30 pack years and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. The program utilizes low-dose CT screenings to check the lungs for cancer in patients who are high risk but otherwise show no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.
Why Low Dose CT?
Because CT scans detect even very small nodules in the lung, they are especially effective for diagnosing lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage. About 80% of lung cancers are found at an early stage when there is a good chance of a cure. Without screening, more than 70% of lung cancers are found at a late stage with little chance of a cure.
With low-dose CT scan (LDCT) there is a minimal risk of any effects from radiation exposure. The machine uses about one-fifth the amount of ionizing radiation as a standard chest CT scan. The amount of radiation from a LDCT scan is about the same as an average American receives in six months from natural background radiation by living on planet Earth.
How do I join the program?
“High risk” patients may benefit from an annual lung screening. “High risk” patients must meet the following criteria:
- are age 55-77
- currently smoke or have quit smoking in the last 15 years
- have tobacco smoking history of at least 30 “pack years” – a “pack year” is the number of years as a smoker multiplied by number of packs of cigarettes per day
- are asymptomatic, or show no signs or symptoms of lung cancer
To enter the program, patients must meet the criteria and have a written order from your physician or healthcare provider for a lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT). The decision to participate in LDCT must follow a shared decision making visit with your provider.
If you’re looking to quit smoking, our free one-on-one smoking cessation classes can help! Learn more on our classes/events page or call 615.384.1714.
Talk to your physician or healthcare provider today about your need for a low-dose CT to screen for lung cancer. Don’t have a primary care provider? We can help – call 615.384.2411 to talk to our team about your healthcare provider options, or schedule an appointment now.