Frequently Asked Questions
Lung Cancer Screening is important, since early stage lung cancer often has no symptoms. Most lung cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage when it is causing symptoms, and this is why more people die from lung cancer each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. There is an enormous benefit to detecting lung cancer at its early stages. Lung cancer can be detected with a low-dose CT scan. The CT scan only takes
about five minutes – it’s quick, painless and could save your life.
How much time should I set aside for my appointment?
Because some delays are inevitable, we recommend you set aside 45 minutes for your appointment. The actual scanning process takes only about five minutes including the set-up and scan time.
What happens during the screening exam?
After being escorted to the CT area, you will be asked a few medical questions. While in the CT scanner you will lay flat on your back with your arms above your head. You may eat and drink prior to your test. The test does not involve any intravenous injections. It’s quick, painless and could save your life.
Who interprets the scans?
A board-certified radiologist that has special training and experience in interpreting these types of tests will interpret your screening CT scan. Your screening CT is then presented by the radiologist in The Center for Chest Care, a multi-disciplinary lung cancer clinic. These physicians have expertise in lung cancer, and are committed to working together as a team to create a personalized plan for you. These specialists include:
- Diagnostic Radiologists
- Medical Oncologists
- Radiation Oncologists
- Thoracic Surgeons
How long will it take to get the results?
You will receive a letter via mail explaining the results within 7-10 days from the date of your screening CT. Your physician(s) will also receive, via fax, a report of your CT and a letter stating results of your scan. If lung cancer is suspected, your referring doctor will be notified of the results by phone and arrangements will be made for you to see one of our lung specialists.
Is screening right for me?
If you are 50 years or older, have a long history of smoking, have a history of cancer, exposure to occupational or environmental cancer causing substances, or have a family history of lung cancer, then this screening could be right for you. You are not eligible for this screening exam if you:
- Have had a chest CT within the past 12 months
- Are pregnant
- Have a history of cancer(except non-melanoma skin cancer) within the past five years
If you do not meet the above screening criteria and are still concerned about your risk for lung cancer, you should speak with your physician about a referral to a pulmonologist (lung specialist) to discuss the risks and benefits of a lung cancer screening.
Screening cost: FREE
Lung Cancer screenings consist of a low-dose CT scan – a quick and painless scan. There are a limited number of lung cancer screening programs in the nation, and the majority charge a fee. The NWA Lung Cancer Screening Program provides the annual low-dose screening CT at no charge. We believe that individuals at high risk of developing lung cancer should have access to this life saving test without worry of cost. Please note: While annual lung screening CT exam is free, any additional testing and/or evaluation should be covered by your insurance.