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Low Dose CT Scans

Detect Lung Cancer Earlier for the Best Treatment Results

Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer, but there is hope. By screening for lung cancer early, doctors can treat it when it is most likely to be treatable and before it spreads. Low-dose CT scanning is a newer type of scan that works by taking multiple, 3-dimensional pictures from inside the body to produce detailed images of your lungs. These images are quite detailed and show your doctor even the earliest stage of lung cancer that may be too small for regular chest X-rays to detect.

To identify lung cancer earlier when it is most treatable, researchers have determined a lung cancer screening by low-dose CT to be an effective diagnostic tool. Low-dose CT scanning is a noninvasive, painless test that uses low-dose radiation - similar to a mammogram - to view the lungs for any suspicious nodules. The test takes little time and is read by a radiologist who reviews the scan. No preparation for the test is needed.

This type of screening is now being recognized and covered by many insurance plans due to its success rate in identifying lung cancer. Our staff will help you with determining whether or not your insurance covers the cost of the scan. Out of pocket costs are available upon request.

The U.S. Preventive Services recommends lung cancer screening for people who:

  • Smoke or smoked one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years
  • Are current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Are between 50 and 80 years old

What Happens During a Low-Dose CT Scan?

During the scan, you will lie on your back on a table inside a CT scanner uses a small amount of radiation to produce intricate images of your lungs. The scan is painless, noninvasive, and only takes a few minutes. There are no dyes, injections, and you won’t have to swallow anything by mouth. You will wear an exam gown and lie in the CT scanner with your arms raised above your head as the images are taken. You must stay very still to prevent any blurriness of the images, and you may be asked to hold your breath for brief periods. While you are in the CT scanner, you may hear whirring noises as the scan rotates in a spiral motion.

What if My Scan Finds Something Suspicious?

Results from a low-dose CT are returned timely, and not all abnormalities found are cancerous or harmful. Once the scan is completed, you will have a follow-up with a member of the Excela Health team to discuss your results. If you have a suspicious result, you and the team will discuss further diagnostic testing.

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