What is a Lung Cancer Screening CT?
A Lung Cancer Screening CT is a special type of Computerized Tomography scan designed to find small lung masses (nodules) that may be the earliest sign of lung cancer.
It is performed on patients with a high risk for developing lung cancer using a very low radiation dose and no intravenous contrast. CT has a much higher sensitivity for the detection of potentially pre-cancerous lung nodules than regular chest x-rays.
Early lung cancer often causes no symptoms, so it’s important to follow the lung cancer screening guidelines if you are at high risk.
Risks Involved in a Lung Cancer Screening CT
The risk of x-ray exposure exists; however, it is well below the level that generally causes adverse affects.
Scheduling, Insurance and Preparation
Contact your personal physician for a referral for this exam. Then, please call us at 720-493-3700 to schedule an appointment.
Insurance Coverage and Financial Concerns
Lung Cancer Screening CT exams are most often covered by insurance, but may be subject to deductible and/or co-payments. Please contact your insurance carrier if you have questions about your individual plan.
We recognize that financial concerns may prevent some patients from seeking necessary healthcare exams. We pride ourselves on being sympathetic and flexible. We offer a dedicated financial navigator, as well as assistance with pre-authorization and any necessary insurance appeals after the exam is completed. If you have financial concerns or need additional guidance on how to speak with your insurance company about your exam, please call our Patient Care Coordination line.
Conditions to Let Us Know About
In advance of your exam, let your scheduler or technologist know if any of the following circumstances apply to you:
- Inability to hold your breath for 30 seconds
- Inability to raise both hands above your head
- Currently pregnant
If you have had a previous lung cancer screening CT at an Invision Sally Jobe facility, please let the imaging center staff know so they may obtain the results to compare to the study you are having.
No preparation is necessary for this exam.
What to Expect
What will generally occur during a lung cancer screening CT:
- A technologist will ask you some safety questions.
- You will remove all metal and metallic objects, such as eyeglasses, belts, hair accessories and jewelry. You will change into a gown. You may use a secure locker for your personal items during your exam.
- You will go to the exam room. You will lie on your back for the exam. The technologist will help position you on the scanner table.
- During the scan, which lasts about 15 minutes, you will hear normal whirring and mechanical noises as the CT scanner rotates around your body. You will be asked to hold your breath for about 30 seconds. It is extremely important not to move any part of your body during the scan to avoid blurring the images.
- You will change back into your clothes.
The technologist will not stay in the room during the scan, but you can speak with the technologist throughout the exam by intercom.
If you require copies of your CT images, please notify the technologist before your exam begins.
After the Exam
You can return to your normal activities immediately after your exam.
A board-certified radiologist experienced in the interpretation of lung cancer screening CTs will analyze the data and results from your exam. The results will be reported to your physician. Your physician will pass the results onto you.
During the exam, our radiologists and technologists will be happy to answer questions about the exam itself; however, they will not immediately provide you with the results of your exam.
Download and learn
Learn more about our lung cancer screening CT services, and how we can help you by downloading our breast cancer screening brochures right here.