Lung cancer screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women, surpassing colorectal, breast and prostate cancers combined.

Patient about to enter a CT Scanner consulting with clinicianIf detected in its early stage, however, lung cancer is highly treatable and even curable. Asante now offers screenings for patients at high risk of developing lung cancer. By using low-dose CT imaging, clinicians can detect tiny spots on the lungs that might be missed by standard X-rays.

Medicare and many insurers recently approved coverage for lung cancer screening for select patients at special risk.

To be eligible these patients must:

  • Be aged 50 to 80 with no symptoms
  • Smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 20 years
  • Be a current smoker or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Have not had a chest CT scan in the past year
  • Have no other major health conditions or declined function that would preclude standard therapies for lung cancer

Before scheduling a screening, patients must have received initial counseling and a shared decision-making visit with their primary care provider.


What causes lung cancer?

Smoking is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer, accounting for up to 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. People who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer than nonsmokers.

Lung cancer can also be caused by exposure to radon, hazardous chemicals, particle pollution, second-hand smoke and genetics. Tell your doctor if anyone in your family has had lung cancer. If you still smoke, quitting is the single best thing you can do for your health.

What are the symptoms?

Most people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms until the cancer has advanced. Tell your doctor if you have a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue, unexplained weight loss or if you’re coughing up blood.

What are the survival rates for lung cancer?

If detected at an early stage — that is, the cancer is limited to one area of the lung — the survival rate is over 50 percent. However, only 15 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. If the cancer has spread to other organs, the five-year survival rate drops to 4 percent.

How does a low-dose CT screening work?

A low-dose helical CT uses X-rays to scan the entire chest. As you’re lying on the table, a scanner rotates around your body for up to 15 seconds, or a single, large breath-hold. A computer produces a series of images called slices that can be examined in precise detail, revealing tiny spots on the lungs that may otherwise be missed.

What will it cost?

Most insurers will cover the cost of lung cancer screening for patients who meet eligibility requirements. In 2015 Medicare approved coverage for its beneficiaries who are at high-risk for developing lung cancer.

Is the radiation dangerous?

A low-dose CT scan delivers about 1.5 millisieverts of radiation — a fraction of the 7 to 10 millisieverts exposure from conventional CT scans. Radiation from a low-dose CT scan is equal to about 15 chest X-rays.

Are there risks for screening for lung cancer?

As with any screening method, there is a risk of false-positive results. That is, the images may detect abnormalities that mimic cancer but turn out to be scarring, inflammation or other noncancerous conditions. This can cause anxiety and may lead to unnecessary biopsies. Your care team will work with you to determine the best course of action.

Can I schedule a screening for myself?

You will need to have a conversation first with your primary care provider. If your provider determines that you are eligible for a lung cancer screening, he or she may refer you to Asante's Lung Cancer Screening Program.


Lung Cancer Screening


Asante Imaging – Black Oak
555 Black Oak Drive
Medford, OR 97504
Phone: 541-789-4322