Any person between the ages of 50 and 80 with a history of smoking should have a conversation with a medical professional regarding indications for screening. A benefit has been shown when low-dose CT scans are used for screening in high-risk patients. These include patients with a 30-year or more history of smoking (at one or more packs per day for more than 15 years) who currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years. In individual cases, some patients over 50 with a family history of lung cancer or occupational exposures such as asbestos or arsenic may be eligible.
If you are determined to be eligible for a screening after discussion with a medical professional, you will receive a prescription or order for a CT scan. You will come into the selected location for an elective CT scan of the chest with no contrast, no IV and a low dose of radiation exposure. The test takes approximately five minutes and a radiologist will then look at the scan for any suspicious lung nodules.
No sedation is necessary, as the screening is noninvasive and painless.
The entire process time depends on the location and the queue, but the screening test itself takes less than 10 minutes.
No proven benefit has been found for lung cancer screening in patients younger than 50 years of age, unless there are symptoms present. Please talk to your primary care provider about your concerns.
Talk to your primary care provider or directly with a pulmonologist or lung screening center for recommendations and direction.
You have the option to self-pay for your screening. At an Orlando Health screening facility, the cost for a lung cancer screening without insurance is $143.00.*
*Verify cost at the time of scheduling, as price is subject to change.
It is true that some genetic mutations occur more often in Asian patients. If there is a family history of lung cancer, you should have a discussion with your doctor regarding the benefit of screening.
Approximately 25 percent of CT scans may detect a lung nodule or spot. However, 96 percent of these nodules are benign and not of concern. The most common next step is a scheduled follow-up CT scan in a few months to monitor the nodule. Rarely, a more concerning nodule may require immediate further evaluation, such as a biopsy.