Lung cancer often does not produce symptoms; if it does, those symptoms can be easy to overlook. Getting regular lung cancer screenings could help your provider find lung cancer when it is in earlier, more treatable stages.
Low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans are currently the only recommended test for lung cancer screenings. Studies have shown these screenings decrease the risk of death from lung cancer in patients who smoke heavily. Our goal is to detect lung cancer before it spreads and begin treatment as quickly as possible.
Am I Eligible for a CT Lung Screening?
You’re eligible if you:
- are between 50 and 77 yrs old
- currently smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years
- Smoke or smoked a pack a day for 20 or more years or two packs a day for 10 or more years.
You can calculate your pack year history using this formula:
(Number of packs smoked per day) x (Years smoked) = Pack year history
Preparing for Your Screening
A CT lung screening is an outpatient procedure. You most likely won’t be required to do any preparations the day before.
On the day of your procedure, dress in comfortable clothing and leave any jewelry at home. You’ll change into a gown and lie down on a table that will pass through the CT scanner. Lung cancer screenings don’t require any contrast dyes.
You’ll have to stay very still during your screening, and your technician may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds. Usually, CT lung screenings take only a few minutes.
Smoke-Free for Life, our free tobacco cessation program, can help you quit smoking and reduce your lung cancer risk.
Call 724-250-4594 to speak with Brenda Swanson-Biearman, Lung Screening Navigator at Washington Heath System.