The Lung Cancer Screening Program is a collaborative effort by Princeton Radiology and Penn Medicine Princeton Health. The program is open to current and former smokers, age 55 to 74, with a smoking history of at least 30 pack years—that is, one pack per day for 30 years, two packs per day for 15 years, and so on.
The screening program uses computed tomography (CT) scans in an attempt to detect lung cancer at an early stage, when treatment can be more effective. Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death, behind heart disease. Most lung cancer patients with advanced staging of the disease carry a 5-year survival rate of less than 1 in 5 (20%). However, with CT Lung Screening, pulmonary nodules can be detected early, and the 5-year survival rate is increased significantly (85-100%).
CT Lung Screening is performed on a fast spiral CT scanner by a certified CT technologist. There is no special preparation for this exam. This procedure uses less radiation than a conventional CT scan and is performed without any injections, needles or removal of clothing (provided that there are no metal snaps or zippers in the chest area).
The CT scanner will take images of your lungs while you lie down on the imaging table and are asked to hold your breath for approximately 20 seconds at a time while images are taken. Your entire visit should last about 30 minutes.
Once the screening is complete, one of our Board Certified Radiologists will review your exam for pulmonary nodules. The CT Lung Screening allows excellent visualization of the lungs, exceeding the capabilities of chest X-ray. It can detect nodules as small as several millimeters in size.
A physician’s order is required for the scan, ensuring that the results and any necessary follow-up care are discussed with the patient’s physician and, if appropriate, a specialist who treats pulmonary nodules.
The scans are available at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center and Princeton Radiology locations in Princeton, Monroe, and Mercerville. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 609.497.4040.