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Low-Dose CT Scan for Lung Cancer

A Low-Dose CT Scan for lung cancer uses computed tomography (CT) to offer a low dose of X-rays, useful in the early detection of lung cancer. Lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan of the chest has been shown to be beneficial in high-risk patients.

How does it work?

In a CT scan, an x-ray beam moves in a circle around the patient’s body. It takes many images, called slices, of the lungs and inside the chest. A computer processes the images and displays them on a monitor. Contrast dye may be injected to highlight structural changes in the lungs and improve image quality.

Am I a good candidate for treatment?

Patients meeting these criteria should be screened:

  • 50 to 80 years old
  • Current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Have a “20-pack-year” smoking history (1 pack/day for 20 years or 2 packs/day for 10 years, etc.)

What can I expect after treatment?

The physician who orders the lung cancer screening will receive a report after the test. If the results indicate an abnormality, additional tests may be ordered. These include:

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy
  • Minimally-invasive VATS-Guided Biopsy