Lung Cancer Screening

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Overview

Why Screen for Lung Cancer?

Screening increases the chance of diagnosing lung cancer at an early stage when it is more likely to be cured. Screening can also lead to identification of other treatable tobacco related disease such as emphysema and heart disease.

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.

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For More Information

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

[email protected]
Program Direct Line: 626-218-9410
Program Fax: 626-471-7215

You may also call or email us ([email protected]), 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?

  • Age 55 to 77, and are either current smokers or have quit smoking within the last 15 years, at least a 30 pack-year smoking history.

  • 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 computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest. The scan captures images of the entire chest cavity during a single breath.

Is Lung Cancer Screening Covered by Insurance?

LDCT screening for lung cancer is covered by many health insurance plans as “Essential Health Benefit” including Medicare.

What if the Screening is Positive?

Approximately 15 percent of all lung cancer screens will identify a lung nodule, but 90 percent of those will be benign and will not require treatment. If the screen is positive, an appointment will be made with the program nurse practitioner or a thoracic or pulmonary physician, to discuss the findings and any additional testing that may be necessary.

What if Screening is Negative?

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

Prevention is Key!

If you are a current smoker and choose to participate in the screening program, you will be required to participate in a smoking cessation program.

What are the Risks of LDCT?

  • Risk of radiation

The low-dose CT scan (1mSv) used at City of Hope for lung cancer screening uses far less radiation than the 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 cancer, for those at high risk for lung cancer, the value of screening far outweighs the minimal risks of radiation.

  • Anxiety about positive results

Please keep in mind that nine out of 10 nodules found in lung cancer screening are not cancerous. When lung cancer is found early on a screening test, it can usually be cured.

  • 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 which will be explained to you if they are required.

Lung Cancer Screening Articles and News

Joanne Nelson | City of Hope

Quitting smoking can seem like an impossible task, but many people, including lung cancer patient Joanne Nelson, have found support with City of Hope's Smoking Cessation Program.


Breakthroughs - Loretta Erhunmweunsee 256x256

City of Hope's Loretta Erhunmwunsee, M.D., is on a mission to eliminate health inequities among minority and under-resourced populations, and she's got her work cut out for her.


Cigarette smoke

What do rat poison, rocket fuel and embalming fluid have in common? They all share ingredients found in cigarette smoke. Once a cigarette is lit, it releases more than 7,000 chemicals into the air, many of them both toxic and carcinogenic.


Erhunmwunsee-Loretta

Despite the fact that overall rates of lung cancer have been declining in the United States for some time, disparities in incidence and outcome along racial lines still exist, particularly among the African American population. City of Hope's thoracic surgeon, Loretta Erhunmwunsee, M.D., discusses research findings.


ash head

From prayer, to going cold turkey, to using a buddy system, to switching up your routine -- City of Hope asked its Facebook followers to share some creative tips they used to quit smoking. These are their top 7 tips for quitting.


Brian Tiep, M.D., lung cancer program

Vaping, or e-cigarette use, has been promoted as an aid to smoking cessation, as well as a safer alternative to smoking. A new JAMA study has found that teens who vape are more likely to progress to cigarette smoking.


breakthroughs - dan raz

Caught at an early stage, lung cancer can be successfully treated and cured. But lung cancer often isn’t diagnosed until a patient develops symptoms. By then, the disease has advanced, making it difficult to treat. Lung cancer screenings, however, can detect the disease in its infancy. A new City of Hope study looks at why more aren't performed.


breakthroughs - Great American Smokeout 2016

Joe Coussa quit smoking thanks to City of Hope's Smoking Cessation Group. Today is the Great American Smokeout – a nationwide event aimed at encouraging smokers to quit that’s sponsored by the American Cancer Society.


cigarette in ashtray

To combat the many misunderstandings and falsehoods about smoking, vaping and other tobacco products, here, lung cancer expert, Dan Raz, M.D., debunks 10 common myths about smoking, in honor of No Tobacco Day.


Breakthroughs - If you

When it comes to life-saving messages, it doesn’t get much simpler than this: if you’re a smoker, a former smoker, or possess these risk factors, an annual lung cancer screening could be the difference between life and death.


 

Further Reading

NCCN Guidelines for Patients® Lung Cancer Screening Download