CT Lung Screening is a low radiation dose, contrast free scan which allows the radiologist to see the location, nature, and extent of many different diseases or abnormalities within your lungs. The screening uses computed tomography (CT) scans in an attempt to detect lung cancer at an early stage, when treatment can be more effective. Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death, behind heart disease. Most lung cancer patients with advanced staging of the disease carry a 5-year survival rate of less than 1 in 5 (20%). However, with CT Lung Screening, pulmonary nodules can be detected early, and the 5-year survival rate is increased significantly (85-100%).
What will the exam be like?
You will lie comfortably on the CT exam table. The table will move slowly into the CT scanner. The X-ray tube will move around as it captures images. Depending on the exam, a contrast material may be used to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. The contrast material may be injected directly into the bloodstream or swallowed. The contrast material will be naturally eliminated within a few hours to a day or two depending on the area examined and the type of contrast material used. A CT scan usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
The Low-dose CT Lung Screening is performed on a fast spiral CT scanner by a certified CT technologist. There is no special preparation for this exam. This procedure uses less radiation than a conventional CT scan and is performed without any injections, needles or removal of clothing (provided that there are no metal snaps or zippers in the chest area). The CT scanner will take images of your lungs while you lie down on the imaging table and are asked to hold your breath for approximately 20 seconds at a time while images are taken. Your entire visit should last about 30 minutes. Once the screening is complete, one of our Board Certified Radiologists will review your exam for pulmonary nodules. The CT Lung Screening allows excellent visualization of the lungs, exceeding the capabilities of chest X-ray. It can detect nodules as small as several millimeters in size.
A physician’s order is required for the scan, ensuring that the results and any necessary follow-up care are discussed with the patient’s physician and, if appropriate, a specialist who treats pulmonary nodules. A special prompt pay fee of $99 is available for the uninsured.