Lung Cancer Screening Program
The UK Lung Cancer Screening Program provides yearly scans for anyone at high risk for lung cancer, including smokers and former smokers. Kentucky has the highest rate of lung cancer in the country, and screening provides a better chance to catch lung cancer early, when there are more effective treatments.
Why Choose UK HealthCare for Lung Cancer Screening?
Our program is led by some of Kentucky’s top experts in lung cancer detection and treatment and provides patients an abundance of resources. Here you’ll find:
- Expert team: Your care team includes dedicated lung, radiology and cancer care specialists who work together with a shared focus.
- Care coordination: Our lung cancer screening coordinator works with your primary care provider to make sure your screening is scheduled each year. We can also help coordinate any additional tests and follow-up care you need.
- Smoking cessation resources: Quitting smoking is the best way for you to avoid getting lung cancer. We offer counseling and other resources to help you stop smoking.
- Skilled treatment: If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you can receive treatment from the specialists at the UK Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky's only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. Our doctors are nationally recognized experts in lung cancer treatment.
What is a Lung Cancer Screening Test?
Lung cancer screening is an annual low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan that can detect lung cancer before you notice symptoms. Here’s how a lung screening CT scan works:
- You lay on your back on a table.
- The table slides into the scanning machine.
- You remain still while the scanner takes detailed pictures of your lungs.
- The scan is painless and only takes about one minute.
We will send your screening results to your primary care provider, who will explain your next steps.
- Positive or suspicious test result: You might have lung cancer and could need additional tests. The result could also be a false positive, or something that looks like cancer but is not.
- Negative test result: This means you did not have cancer at the time of your CT scan. It does not mean that you will never get lung cancer. You should still continue yearly screenings as long as you are eligible.
Who Needs Yearly Lung Cancer Screening?
Anyone who is at high risk for lung cancer qualifies for screening. Your primary care provider can order a lung cancer screening for you. Low-dose CT screening is recommended if you meet all of these criteria:
- Adult age 50–80
- Have a 20 “pack year” or more smoking history – this equates to an average of one pack per day for 20 years or two packs per day for 10 years. (A “pack year” is a way to quantify tobacco exposure.)
- You currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years
Benefits and Risks
- Benefits: More treatment options (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation) and a greater chance for full recovery when we catch cancer early
- Risks: Small amount of radiation (a little more than a mammogram) and possibility of a false positive test that requires follow-up testing
Make an Appointment
Most insurance plans cover this screening. If your insurance does not cover the screening, we provide it for $145.