Lung Cancer Screening Program

Screening Means Survival

The benefits of a lung cancer screening speak for itself: The 5-year survival rate dramatically improves to 68-92 percent if we diagnose lung cancer in Stage 1. A Stage 4 diagnosis, on the other hand, results in a zero to 10 percent survival rate. So the sooner a cancer is found, the better.

Simple Procedure. Full Support Our simple, easy, once-per-year screening helps high-risk patients – those with a regular smoking habit and those who have a history of smoking.

The screening program provides individual monitoring, assessment, and a low-dose lung CT screening to current and former smokers who are at risk for developing lung cancer. Detecting lung cancer early means better treatment and more opportunities for patients to take advantage of the most comprehensive options.

Through this program, we provide screening for patients who meet the following criteria:

  • Are 55-77 years old
  • Have a 30 pack-a-year smoking history*
  • Are a current smoker or quit less than 15 years ago
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer

*What is a 30 pack-a-year smoking history? This is the number of years smoked multiplied by the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day. For example, 1 pack/day x 30 years = 30 packs-a- year.

How Does the Screening work?

The scan requires no IVs or medications. You simply lie still on a table, slowly moveing through the scanner. The computer takes pictures and puts them together for an incredibly detailed image that identifies small nodules or other abnormalities in your lungs.

You will also have the full support of our dedicated cancer experts and friendly staff, who will guide you and your family every step of the way.

Worried about Radiation Exposure?

The scan’s radiation exposure is more than a regular X-ray but less than a regular CT scan. We hope patients understand that the radiation in a low-dose CT is about equal to what you receive in your natural environment over six months.

If no problems are found, we will recommend the screening each year until you are no longer a candidate or you reach age 77.

What if an Abnormality is Found?

Please remember that an abnormality does not automatically mean you have cancer. Our lung cancer screening often uncovers COPD, coronary artery calcification, aortic aneurysm, or other conditions.

But if an abnormality is suspicious for lung cancer, our team -- in collaboration with your primary care provider -- will immediately send you for further testing or to a specialist who will initiate a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Where and How Much?

For your convenience, Lee Health offers low-dose CT scans at various locations throughout Lee County, including Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Estero.

Worried about payment? Medicare began national lung cancer screening coverage in 2015, and most insurance will help with costs. If you are uninsured, Lee Health offers a self-pay program and financial assistance if you meet the criteria. Please let us know how we can help.