Lung Cancer Screening CT
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. About 165,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the U.S alone. Today, substantially more women die from lung cancer than from breast cancer. It is firmly established that smoking cigarettes causes the vast majority of lung cancers. Another important risk factor is exposure to asbestos fibers. If you have been exposed to asbestos fibers, you have an increased risk of getting lung cancer. Asbestos is a noncombustible material that was once commonly used in fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters. Unfortunately, lung cancer is usually detected late in the course of the disease. When the first symptoms occur, such as a cough, the cancer has often already grown to an advanced stage and can rarely be cured.
Like most cancers, lung cancer tends to occur later in life. Lung cancer is rarely observed in people under the age of 45-50 years. Persons undergoing Lung Cancer Screening CT receive minimal exposure to low-dose radiation.
- Am I a candidate for the CT Lung Cancer Screening Program?
One of the greatest advantages of Lung Cancer Screening CT is early disease detection in those who are well but possibly at risk for certain cancers. Patients who are good candidates for Lung CT Screening meet the following criteria:
—If you are 50 years of age or older.
—If you currently smoke or are a former smoker, particularly if you have smoked one or more packs per day for 10 years or longer.
—If you have a history of exposure or possible exposure to asbestos either at work or at home.
—If you have a strong family history of lung cancer.
Patients who are not good candidates for Lung CT Screening are patients who do not meet the above criteria or who currently exhibit signs or symptoms including unexplained weight loss, persistent unexplained chest pain, persistent coughing and/or coughing up blood. If you exhibit any of these signs or symptoms, you should contact your physician for further evaluation.
A high-speed scanner, a Multidetector CT, is used to capture many high-resolution images of the lungs. A Radiologist reviews the images for evidence of cancer. The examination is simple, safe and painless (no needles) and there are no diet restrictions. The scan itself takes a few minutes.
- What Is Involved in the Lung Screening CT?
Plan enough time for patient registration in the California Campus lobby prior to proceeding to the radiology department. When you arrive for your test you be asked to complete a questionnaire. Once completed, a radiologic technologist will escort you to the to the scanning room. You will be asked to lie on the CT scanner table and to hold your breath while the scan is being acquired. The scan itself takes less than a minute to perform and the entire procedure lasts approximately fifteen minutes.
- Is there any prep for the test?
There is no special prep for this exam.
- 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 fax a report of the results to your ordering physician and you will receive the results on CD Rom along with a written report.
- Where do I go on the day of my scan?
The Lung Screening CT is offered at California Pacific’s California Campus located at 3700 California Street, San Francisco. Stop in outpatient registration prior to your test. Once your registration is complete you will be directed to the Department of Radiology located on the ground floor of the main hospital building to the left of the main corridor.
- Is the Lung Screening CT covered by insurance?
The Lung Screening CT is not currently covered under most insurance plans. Therefore, patients are responsible for all costs. Please pay for services at the time of registration. The registration office can only accept payment for services by major credit or debit cards and exact cash. (American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard)
- How do I schedule an appointment?
Ask your Primary Care Physician if you are a candidate for this screening. If so, he or she can order the test. You or your physician’s office can schedule this exam by calling (415) 600-0800. You will need a written order from your physician. Presently we are offering this service on Saturdays for your convenience.