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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.

Tobacco Free, is a local free tobacco cessation program that can help you quit smoking and reduce your lung cancer risk.

Call 724-250-4594 to speak with Sydney Gilman, Lung Screening Navigator at Washington Heath System.

Meet our Lung Screening Navigator

Lung screening navigator, Sydney, smiling at the camera. Sydney has blond hair and wearing blue scrubs.

Sydney Gilman, Lung Screening Navigator

Sydney Gilman is originally from Pittsburgh and studied Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology at the University of New Hampshire. After completing her Bachelor of Science at UNH, she continued her education at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia studying Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences.

She has since moved back to the greater Pittsburgh area to be near her family. Sydney then went to work as a board-certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist here at WHS Washington Hospital.

In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending time with her loved ones, most importantly, her two nieces. She enjoys going on walks with her dog, cozying up with a good book, and putting her cooking skills to the test. She also enjoys traveling to anywhere that has mountains or water and has the ultimate goal of visiting all 50 states.

Her passion for working in the medical field stems from her family being closely impacted by cancer. She has been fortunate enough to gear her career towards pursuing her passions in order to help those that may be affected similarly to her family. She is highly motivated to make the greatest impact she can in WHS patients’ lives through encouraging early screening for at-risk patients in hopes of detecting cancer at a more treatable stage.

Our CT department is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology, which means all equipment and techniques used meet or exceed nationally accepted quality assurance and safety guidelines.