Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, killing more people than colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers combined. Eighty-five percent of lung cancer cases occur in current or former smokers. Fortunately, this disease is often treatable if caught early. Recent studies show that low-dose CT lung cancer screening can lower your risk of dying from lung cancer.

What is Tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening?

LDCT (Low-Dose Computed Tomography) works much like an x-ray to produce pictures of your chest and lungs. This screening detects lung abnormalities with less radiation than a conventional CT scan. The CT machine takes a detailed picture of your lungs that helps your physician locate anything abnormal. The scan takes less than 30 seconds and can detect extremely small nodules—meaning cancer can be found in its earliest stages when it’s most treatable.

Initial Consultation and CT Scan

If you would like to undergo LDCT lung screening, the first step is to make an appointment with your primary care provider. This appointment will be a time to discuss your age, smoking history and other factors in order for your physician to determine if you are eligible for screening. If you are eligible, your primary care provider will schedule your LDCT scan.

Follow-up: What happens next?

Your primary care provider will follow up with you to explain your results and discuss any additional necessary medical care. Should an abnormality be detected, you will have the option of scheduling a meeting at our Lung Nodule Clinic to discuss your screening and next steps including non-surgical and surgical biopsy options.

Is this screening covered by my insurance?

Medicare now covers the cost of LDCT screening for high risk patients. Many private health insurers provide coverage as well. Your physician will give you more specific details about eligibility and costs during your consultation. If you do not meet criteria or you do not have health coverage, Sovah Health - Martinsvillel offers LDCT scans at a reduced self pay cost.

Am I High Risk? Determine Your Pack Per Year History:

Ask Yourself the Following:

  1. Is your Pack per Year History equal to or greater than 30?

    Yes or No

  2. Are you between the ages of 55 and 74?

    Yes or No

  3. Do you currently smoke or have you quit smoking in the last 15 years?

    Yes or No

Should I Be Screened?

If you answered Yes to the questions above, you are considered High Risk. Talk to your primary care provider about whether lung cancer screening is right for you. Even if you answered No, you could still be at risk. Talk to your doctor if you are older than 50 with a 20+ pack per year history and have a history of:

  • Radon or occupational carcinogen exposure

  • Family history of lung cancer

  • COPD or pulmonary fibrosis

  • Personal history of cancer or lymphoma


If you are interested in getting screened, ask your primary care provider whether you qualify.

If you do not have a primary care provider, call a referral consultant at 844.GO.SOVAH, and we will connect you with local providers who are accepting new patients.