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This information has been reviewed and approved by Shawn Teague, MD, and Debra Dyer, MD (June 2024).

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Summary: You Can’t See Lung Damage

#1 Cause of Cancer Death in U.S.

If you have a smoking history, you have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Screening with a low-dose CT scan can identify cancer early and save your life.

You Are Eligible for a Free* Lung Cancer Screening if You:

  1. Are you between 50 and 80 years old and
  2. Currently smoke or have quit in the last 15 years and
  3. Have at least a 20 pack-year history of smoking.

* For eligible patients, lung cancer screening is covered by most private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.

Advantages of Low-Dose Screening CT Scan

  • Safe – 90% less radiation than regular CT scans
  • Accurate – Detects even the smallest abnormalities
  • Fast – Scan takes less than 10 minutes
  • Diagnosis – Detects both cancerous and noncancerous lung nodules

Lung cancer screening decreases risk of death by 20%

What Is a Lung Nodule?

  • Small rounded spot on the lung detected by CT scan
  • 97% of lung nodules are not cancerous
  • Can be early lung cancer

What Is a Pack Year?

A pack year measures how much a person has smoked over a long period of time.
Multiply the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day, by the number of years smoked.
1 pack per day for 20 years = 20 pack years
2 packs each day for 10 years = 2- pack years

Lung Cancer Screening

  • Lung cancer caught early is treatable and curable.
  • Screening of high risk patients has reduced lung cancer deaths by 20%.
  • National Jewish Health catches more lung cancer at Stage 1 than the national average.
  • Most patients have no sign of cancer and have a follow-up CT scan in one year.
  • Schedule a lung cancer screening today and get a clear picture of your lung health.


More Information on Lung Cancer Screening