Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening

Early detection is a proven, successful strategy for fighting many forms of cancer. Tulane-Lakeside Hospital offers screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) for people at high risk for lung cancer. This non-invasive, painless test only takes a few minutes.

Important Need

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Detecting lung cancer at its earliest stage, and having it surgically removed, means a person can expect a five-year survival rate close to 70 percent. These statistics come from the results of the National Lung Screening Trial that was published in June 2011. Preliminary research indicates that early detection with a CT screening may reduce the odds of lung cancer death by up to 20% when compared to conventional x-ray.

High Risk

Patients at high risk for lung cancer who may benefit from CT screening have the following characteristics:

  • Are between the ages of 55 and 74
  • Are current smokers or quit within the last 15 years
  • Have a 30 pack year history of smoking

In addition to the above characteristics, individuals are considered to be at high risk for lung cancer if they have the characteristics listed below:

  • Are age 50 or older
  • 20 pack year history of smoking
  • Have one additional risk factor for lung cancer which includes any ONE of the following:
    • Documented high radon exposure
    • Occupational exposure to silica, cadmium, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, nickel or diesel fumes 
    • Are a survivor of lung cancer, lymphoma, or head and neck cancer
    • Have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or pulmonary fibrosis
    • Have a family history of lung cancer

Secondhand smoke exposure is NOT an independent risk factor for lung cancer CT screening.

Requesting a Lung Screening

A CT scan requires a physician's order. Please talk with your doctor if you are interested in having this screening.

Cost & Insurance Coverage

Most insurance providers cover low dose CT lung cancer screening for patients who meet the high risk criteria listed above. Please check with your insurance provider to confirm screening coverage.