Lung cancer screening

This one test could save your life

It’s a sad fact that Kentucky leads the U.S. in lung cancer incidence and mortality. If you smoke, live with a smoker or have smoked in the past, consider getting screened. Early detection is your strongest weapon against the disease.

What is lung cancer screening?

At the UK Markey Cancer Center, we use a low-dose CT scan to take many images of your chest and lungs. This allows a radiologist to look inside your lungs and identify suspicious spots that may be potential cancers.

Only low-dose CT scans – not chest X-rays – are recommended for lung cancer screening.

A suspicious or positive result means that the CT scan shows something that is abnormal. Additional tests will be done to determine whether this is cancer.

A negative result means that there were no abnormal findings at the time of the CT scan. It does not mean that you will never get lung cancer.

Who is qualified for lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer screening is recommended for patients who are at high risk for lung cancer, including those who:

  • Are ages 55-80, and
  • Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, and
  • Have a 30 pack-year smoking history, which means smoking one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years, and
  • Have no current symptoms of lung cancer.

A lung cancer screening does not prevent lung cancer, but it can detect cancer at an early stage, before you develop symptoms of the disease.

Lung cancer screening has been shown to decrease the risk of lung cancer death in patients who are high risk for developing cancer. When lung cancer is found early, many treatment options are available, which greatly improves the likelihood of survival.

Page last updated: 3/10/2017 9:53:26 AM