What is a CT Lung Screening Test?

Lung cancer kills more people every year than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society. One reason for the low survival rate is that lung cancer is often diagnosed in its later stages, when it is most difficult to treat and the course of action for patients is limited.

If you are at high risk for lung cancer, your chances of survival may improve if lung cancer is detected in its earliest stages. By making an appointment to have a low-dose-radiation CT scan (LDCT), survival rate may improve through earlier detection, accurate diagnosis, accurate localization and therapy. A lung screening uses no contrast dyes and a LDCT scan is safer for patients. The scan itself only takes 60 seconds to complete and is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.

Who is Eligible for Lung Cancer Screening?

  • Age 55 to 77 years old
  • A 30-pack year or greater history of smoking (a “pack year” is calculated from multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years you have smoked)
  • Either currently smoke or have quit in the past 15 years
  • No symptoms of lung cancer such as cough, shortness of breath or chest pain

LDCT screening for lung cancer requires a referral from your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your risk for the disease and about your eligibility for screening. He or she will order the CT scan and can discuss the risks and benefits of the test, explain the results and organize any further follow-up.

Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center

Manatee Diagnostic Center (MDC) has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer. We have also been named a Lung Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance for its ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening. MDC also takes part in the ACR Lung Cancer Screening Registry, which is designed to systematically audit the quality of interpretation of lung screening CT exams.