Lung Cancer Screening

For early detection of lung cancer

Screening for lung cancer has dramatically increased survival rates for those with this form of cancer. Using a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan test, lung cancer can be detected at its earliest stages - when symptoms may not be present  and the disease is most treatable.

The test is not recommended for everyone and it has risks as well as benefits. If you are eligible, you will be encouraged to have an annual screening. 

Who is eligible for lung cancer screening?

You are eligible for screening if:

  • You are age 55-77 years of age                                                           
  • You are asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer)                                  
  • You are a current or former smoker who has quit in the last 15 years                      
  • You have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-year history (means 1 pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
  • You receive a written order for a low-dose CT scan from your medical provider after a shared decision-making visit

If you are not in the high-risk group, you may still be eligible for screening through a clinical trial. For more information, contact the Methodist Lung/Thoracic Oncology Clinic at (402) 354-5858.

What risks are there with low-dose CT?

Low-dose CT screening uses a small amount of radiation to create images of your lungs. The amount of radiation is similar to that used in a mammogram.

What can be found with the screening? 

No test is perfect. Your test may show abnormalities which may need biopsy to determine if they are cancerous,

Commonly, screening may identify lung nodules, which are small collections of tissue in the lung. The majority of nodules are not cancerous (benign). Most are normal lymph nodes or scarring from past infections.

Less commonly, lung nodules are cancerous. If a small lung nodule is diagnosed as cancerous, early treatment can being. Cancer at this stage can be cured more than 80% of the time. This is why screening is so important. 

Less commonly, lung nodules are cancerous. If a small lung nodule is found to be a cancerous, the cancer can be cured more than 80% of the time. This is why screening is so important.

If you think you may qualify and wish to have a screening CT of the lungs, please call (402) 354-5858.