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Lung Cancer Screening Program

Cancer Care

Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening

Now available at four metro locations.

Lung cancer kills more men and women worldwide than any other cancer. Early detection means more options. If you are over 50 and have been a heavy smoker for many years or have other risk factors, the experts at Saint Luke’s want to talk to you.

If you’re eligible, you’ll undergo a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan, which takes less than a minute. A specialized radiologist will interpret your exam, and you’ll learn your test results within 24 hours. It’s that simple.

Should I be screened for lung cancer?
You are eligible for a screening with LDCT if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are between 55 and 80 years old
  • Currently smoke or quit in the past 15 years
  • Have a 30 “pack year” history (one pack per day for 30 years = 30 pack years. Two packs per day for 15 years = 30 pack years.)
  • Have no lung cancer symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain

How can I get screened?
Talk to your doctor about your risk for lung cancer and discuss the risks and benefits of being screened. If you are eligible for lung screening, your doctor can refer you for an exam.

What if I currently smoke?
The best action you can take to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to stop smoking. It is more effective than any test or intervention. Talk to your doctor or contact Saint Luke’s Charles and Barbara Duboc Cardio Health & Wellness Center at 816-751-8327 or learn more about the center.

How do I prepare for the exam?
No preparation is needed. You do not need to fast or get an injection. During the scan, you will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds. If you have had prior chest CT scans, notify your doctor and get copies because the radiologists can use them to tell if a finding is new or stable.

What are the risks of screening?

  • False positive finding: screening may show an abnormal result that turns out to be non-cancerous but may need further diagnostic tests or referral to a specialist
  • False negative finding: screening does not detect all lung cancers
  • Incidental findings: screening sometimes shows findings in other organs, such as the heart
  • Radiation risk: the radiation dose of a LDCT scan is equal to about 1/10 the exposure of a regular diagnostic CT chest scan.
  • Anxiety: being screened and evaluated for positive or incidental findings may cause significant stress and anxiety in some patients

Where can I get screened?
We offer screenings with LDCT at:

Will insurance or Medicare cover my screening?
Please talk to your primary care provider to see if you meet the criteria required for LDCT to be covered by Medicare or private insurance.

If you do not qualify for lung screening based on Medicare of private insurance criteria, and still believe you may be at risk for lung cancer due to a history of smoking, talk to your doctor. You may qualify for screening under the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCM) criteria. In such cases, patients may be screened for an out-of-pocket cost of $240, which includes the CT scan, CT interpretation, and a personal consultation with an expert thoracic radiologist.

Contact us

Call 816-932-6800 to learn more about lung screening at Saint Luke’s and our multidisciplinary team approach to care.