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 the ages of 55 and 77
  • currently smoke or have quit in the past 15 years
  • have at least a 30-pack year smoking history

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 Melissa Zucchero, BS, CNMT, Lung Screening Navigator at Washington Heath System.

Meet our Lung Screening Navigator

Photo of Melissa Zucchero, Lung Screening Navigator

Melissa Zucchero BS, CNMT Lung Screening Navigator

Melissa graduated from Robert Morris University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine.

She began her career here at WHS in the nuclear medicine department where she worked for over 3 years before stepping into the role of Lung Screening Navigator.

Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, baking, and taking her dog to the Montour Trail.

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.