Lung Cancer Screening

Why Screen for Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the world. One of the challenges with this disease is that symptoms do not appear until it is already at an advanced stage. Research shows that for high-risk people, LDCT scans will discover lung cancer at an early stage 64-85% of the time, reducing mortality by 20%. Screenings are costeffective, highly reliable, convenient and comfortable for the patient. Currently, only 4.4% of people who meet the recommended criteria for a lung screening get one.
 
Lung Cancer Screening Program is also available at City of Hope in Antelope Valley, Newport Beach and Corona.
 

Why Picking the Right Center for Lung Cancer Screening Matters

Dan Raz, M.D., M.A.S., co-director of City of Hope's Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program, on why it matters where you have your lung cancer screening done.

For More Information

Please contact us if you have questions regarding the program. Referring providers can fax or email consultation request directly to us:

lungscreening@coh.org
Program Direct Line: 626-218-9410
Program Fax: 626-471-7223

You may also call or email us (smokingcessation@coh.org), if you require assistance to quit smoking.

City of Hope is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and Screening Centers of Excellence committed to a multidisciplinary approach to lung cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment.

Who is Eligible?

  • Lung cancer screening is recommended for individuals who are between 50 and 80 years (55 to 77 for Medicare and Medicaid) and:
    • Have smoked a pack a day for 20 years, two packs a day for 10 years
    • Are active smokers or have quit within the last 15 years
  • You may qualify for a lung cancer screening if you are outside of these criteria or have additional risk factors. Please call us at 626-218-9410 to discuss.
     

How is Lung Cancer Screening performed?

The only screening test proven to effectively reduce death from lung cancer is a high-resolution CT scan of the chest without IV contrast involved. The scan captures images of the entire chest cavity during a single breath.

lung cancer info graphic

Is Lung Cancer Screening Covered by Insurance?

LDCT screening for lung cancer is covered by many health insurance plans as a preventative health service with low or no cost-sharing.

What if the Screening is Positive?

Approximately 15% of all lung cancer screens will identify a lung nodule, but 90% of those will be benign and will not require treatment. If the screening is positive, world-class City of Hope lung cancer specialists are available to consult with the patient about a treatment plan and next steps.

What if Screening is Negative?

If the screen is negative, a scan should be repeated in one year.

Prevention is Key!

In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 80-90% of lung cancer deaths. City of Hope’s Smoking Cessation Program offers in-person or virtual personalized services, which includes medications to overcome withdrawal symptoms and behavioral strategies to break habits that trigger smoking. Quitting tobacco can be tough, but doable with proper treatment and support.

What are the Risks of LDCT?

  • Risk of radiation: The LDCT scan (1mSv) used at City of Hope for lung cancer screening uses far less radiation than standard CT scans and is slightly higher than the radiation dose used in a standard mammogram. We use some of the most advanced equipment and techniques to enable the lowest radiation dose for your CT scan. Although radiation may increase your risk of developing certain cancers, for those at high risk for lung cancer the value of screening far outweighs the minimal risks of radiation.
  • Risk of anxiety about positive results: Please keep in mind that 9 out of 10 nodules found in lung cancer screenings are not cancerous. When lung cancer is found early on a screening test, it can usually be cured.
  • Risk of additional diagnostic tests for initial positive screen result: You may have procedures, such as a biopsy or surgery for nodules that are not cancerous. These procedures carry risks that will be explained to you if they are required.

Further Reading