Lung Cancer Screening

A low-dose CT lung screening can help find abnormalities in the lungs that may need follow-up evaluation for risk of lung cancer. The ultra low-dose CT scan demonstrates the lung tissue in high diagnostic quality detail with a reduced amount of ionizing radiation.

How to Schedule

To make an appointment, you will need an order from your physician.

  • Indianapolis hospitals/Imaging Centers: Call 317-355-4680 or toll-free 877-298-8177 (M-F, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
  • Community Howard Regional Health (Kokomo): Call 765-776-8000 or 800-574-0702.

Locations

CT lung screening is offered at these Community hospitals and Imaging Centers:

  • Hospitals: Community Heart and Vascular Hospital, Community Hospital East, Community Hospital North, Community Hospital South, Community Howard Regional Health
  • Imaging Centers: County LineEastNoblesvilleNorth
Am I a candidate for a CT lung screening?

One of the greatest advantages of low-dose CT lung screening is early disease detection in those who are well, but at risk for certain cancers. Candidates for CT lung screening must meet the following criteria:

  • If you currently smoke or are a former smoker
    • You are 55 to 77 years of age.
    • You have a smoking history of 30 pack-years or more (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, or 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.); or
  • You have quit smoking within the last 15 years.
  • Your physician must document that you have met to discuss if you are a candidate for CT lung cancer screening and will order the test if appropriate.
  • You must meet the above criteria or the test will not be scheduled.

Patients who are not good candidates for CT lung screening do not meet the above criteria or currently exhibit signs or symptoms including unexplained weight loss, persistent unexplained chest pain, persistent coughing and/or coughing up blood. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, you should contact your physician for further evaluation. Please note: If you have had a previous CT scan of the lungs and have a known mass or nodule you do not meet the criteria for the lung screening.

Cost and insurance coverage

CT lung screening is now covered by Medicare and some insurance plans if you meet the above criteria. Therefore, you must meet with a physician to determine if you are a candidate for CT lung cancer screening. We cannot perform this exam on anyone who does not meet the above criteria, and we will no longer offer this exam as a self-pay procedure; a physician order is required. Please follow up with your physician for evaluation and further instructions.

If you do not have a physician we can help you find one: Call 800-777-7775 or visit Find a Doctor.

How does the CT scan work?

A high-speed CT scanner is used to capture many high-resolution images of the lungs with limited ionizing radiation. A radiologist will then review your images for any evidence of abnormality. The examination is simple, safe and painless (no needles) and there are no diet restrictions. The scan itself takes only few minutes.

The day of the scan

There are no special preparations or diet restrictions for this screening.

Plan enough time for patient registration at a Community hospital or Community Imaging Center of your choice. After you arrive at your screening location, please visit outpatient registration. When you arrive for your screening you will be asked to complete a questionnaire. Once your registration is complete a CT technologist will escort you to the imaging department and to the CT scanner.

Please wear a shirt or top that is free of metal buttons or metal inlays. You will be asked to lie on the CT scanner table and to hold your breath for 8-10 seconds while the scan is being acquired. The scan itself takes less than a minute to perform and the entire procedure lasts approximately fifteen minutes.

How are the results of the screening interpreted?

A board-certified radiologist will view the lung screening CT on a high-resolution work station and interpret the exam. We will electronically send the results to your referring physician.

What if I have an abnormality on my CT scan?

CT is very good at detecting lung nodules; however, it cannot distinguish cancerous from non-cancerous nodules. One out of four patients who have a CT screening in Indiana has lung nodules and 96% of these are not cancer. These non-cancerous nodules are usually the result of old, inactive infection caused by the fungus histoplasmosis. When a lung nodule is detected, your referring physician may order additional tests to distinguish cancer from non-cancerous conditions. The additional tests may include follow-up CT scans to evaluate growth of the nodule, PET scan or needle biopsy.