Lung Cancer Screening

Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Often the disease does not show symptoms until it has progressed to advanced stages, when it is difficult to treat and chances of survival decrease.

A low-radiation-dose CT (LDCT) scan can detect lung cancer at its earliest stages, making treatment both easier and more effective. Such screening is only appropriate for people who may be at higher risk for lung cancer due to their history of smoking.
An LDCT scan of the chest to screen for lung cancer is like a mammography screening for breast cancer. Both can detect cancer in its early stages and save lives. In a reported study, LDCT lung cancer screening has been shown to reduce lung cancer deaths by 20-33% in high-risk populations. It is estimated that following government screening guidelines could save an additional 10,000 to 20,000 lives each year.

Should You Be Screened?

People with a history of cigarette smoking have a high risk of lung cancer. In fact, tobacco use accounts for almost 90% of all lung cancers. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer.

Not everyone should be screened for lung cancer. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommend lung cancer screening if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are between 50 and 77 years old
  • Have a smoking history of at least “20 pack-years”
  • You are a current Smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years

Next Steps if you meet the criteria above:

  • You will need to talk with your doctor to decide if screening is right for you
  • A doctor’s order is required to be scheduled for screening

Schedule an appointment.

Call Memorial’s centralized scheduling at (618) 257-4949 for an appointment Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Memorial Designated ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center

Memorial Hospital Belleville has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the lung cancer screening performed?

The screening test is performed with a low-radiation-dose CT (LDCT). LDCT scans have a lower radiation dose than a chest X-ray or a standard CT scan. The LDCT scanner rotates around your body, while you lie still on a table that passes through the center of the scanner. The LDCT scan provides detailed images of the inside of your body, including tissues within an organ.

How long does the screening take?

Each exam takes only about five minutes, and we strive to have you in and out in less than an hour.

How much will the screening cost?

Lung Cancer Screening is covered by most private insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid. Patients must have a shared decision-making visit with a medical provider prior to their lung cancer screening test.

How quickly will I receive my results?

We’ll call you with your results within 24-48 hours following your screening.

What happens if the test finds an abnormality?

If an abnormality is found, it does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Small nodules and other abnormalities are found in about 1 in 5 LDCT scans. Most of these do not turn out to be cancer. You may require additional testing (which is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurances). A member of your Memorial Hospital care team will discuss your next steps with you and answer any questions you may have.

What happens if cancer is found?

If cancer is found, a member of your Memorial Hospital care team will work with you and your physician on a treatment plan.

Are you ready to quit smoking?

Quitting smoking lowers your risk of getting lung cancer and other diseases of the lungs, heart, blood and brain.

You can get FREE help quitting, at:

  • Tobacco Quitline: Individual telephone counseling, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
  • On-Line Quit Plan: Supportive texts, smartphone application, and calendar.
  • American Cancer Society Quit For Life Program, 1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE (1-866-784-8454)

More information