Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. It is the most common cancer in men and women combined, after skin cancer. Lung cancer screening with computed tomography or Low Dose CT Lung Screening is the only screening test shown to lower the chance of dying from lung cancer. The effect of screening may vary depending on how similar you are to the people who participated in the study The benefits of the screening may be bigger if your lung cancer risk is higher.
Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat.
The results of the Low Dose CT Lung Screening provide you and your doctor valuable information used to develop the right course of action for your specific healthcare needs.
The major criteria for Low Dose CT Lung Screening are:
- Healthy adults age 55-80
- History of smoking for 30 pack years or more (Number of packs per day X years of smoking = pack years)
- Current smoker or has quit no more than 15 years ago
Exclusion Criteria: Pacemaker or spinal hardware. (These cause prohibitive artifact with the low dose technique.)
How to Prepare
No special preparation is necessary in advance for a Low Dose CT Lung Screening test. You may continue to take your daily medications. Please tell your healthcare professional if you are or might be pregnant.
What to Expect
A Low Dose CT Lung Screening is performed by a radiologic technologist specially trained in CT operation. The resulting pictures are interpreted by a board certified radiologist.
At the time of the test, you may be asked to undress above the waste, put on a gown and remove any jewelry that might interfere with the scan.
During the test, you will lie on your back on a table that is attached to the CT scanner. The scanner is an advanced specialized X-ray machine that is a common imaging tool used every day for a wide array of clinical tests. The table slides into the opening in the scanner while a cylinder around the opening rotates around your body. You may hear a low whirling sound and the table will move slightly during the exam.
You will be asked to hold your breath for approximately 15 seconds while images are taken. It is very important to hold completely still while your lungs/chest is being scanned. Otherwise, repeat pictures may be needed.
During the test, you are usually alone in the scanner room. However, the technologist will watch you through an observation window and you will be able to talk to him or her through an intercom.
The scan takes only a few seconds to obtain the lung images, but you should allow 30 minutes for the entire examination.
The results of the test will be sent to your doctor. You are strongly encouraged to meet with your doctor to discuss these results and a potential plan of action, if indicated. Additionally, your results will be reviewed by our nurse navigator, and she will contact you for any follow-up needed.
Clinical Nurse Navigator
Elizabeth Strojny, RN
(843) 727-8524 office
(843) 614-7557 cell
Most insurance plans, including Medicare, will not pay for Low Dose CT Lung Screening due to lack of a medically necessary diagnosis. The cost of the procedure is $99, which includes the radiologist’s fee for interpreting the study. The cost for this screening test can be paid through an FSA/HSA.
A doctor’s order is needed to obtain this screening.
To schedule an appointment, please call (843) 402-5000.