Lung Cancer Screenings - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Lung Cancer Screening Program

Crozer-Keystone offers six Centers of Excellence for Lung Cancer Screening.

Crozer-Keystone offers six
Centers of Excellence for Lung
Cancer Screenings. Appointments:
Call 1-866-5-CK-XRAY

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States for both men and women and 85 percent of these deaths can be attributed to smoking. Delaware County has the third-highest lung cancer rates of any county in the state.

Crozer-Keystone Health System offers a Lung Screening Program using low-dose CT scans. The program follows the high risk inclusion criteria as established by the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial.

Results of a recent landmark National Lung Screening Trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that screenings with a low-dose CT scan can detect lung tumors early and reduce the lung cancer mortality rate by 20 percent for smokers.

The screening involves a painless non-invasive scan that takes about 20 seconds, once you have registered, changed clothing and are on the scanning table. There is no blood work or IV required. You will be asked to hold your breath during the scan in order to limit the motion of the lungs. Prior to the scan, a member of the CKHS lung screening team ( nurse navigator) will conduct a brief interview about your smoking habits and other risk factors for lung cancer. The entire process should last about 45 minutes.

Program Highlights

  • Low-dose CT scan interpreted by a board-certified radiologist.
  • Multidisciplinary specialists available for physicians and patients to assist in explanations or further treatment planning
  • Nurse Navigator(s) to assist in scheduling and guidance through all necessary steps.
  • Smoking cessation information as requested
  • Low-cost, affordable CT scan ($125) to make screening more accessible to high-risk individuals.

Why Get Screened for Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer usually shows no obvious symptoms until it is in a late stage, when it is difficult to treat. Early-stage lung cancer is more treatable and curable. Results of a recent study showed that CT screening can find 85 percent of lung cancers in their earliest stage

You may have had chest X-rays in the past, but they don't replace a lung cancer screening. A chest X-ray shows only two views of your chest (front and side), while a CT scan shows cross-sectional images all through your chest; from the very top of your lungs through the lung bases. So, smaller abnormalities (that could be early stage cancer) can be found which never would have been seen on a chest X-ray.

Who Should Get Screened?

  • Individuals 55-74 who are current or former smokers with at least a 30 pack year smoking history (a “pack year” is the number of packs smoked daily multiplied by the number of years smoking).
  • Former smokers must have quit within the last 15 years.
  • Patients should not have a history of any form of cancer within the last five years.

Examples of 30 pack years include: 1 pack per day for 30 years; ½ pack per day for 60 years, 2 packs per day for 15 years.

CT screening for lung cancer is safe and non-invasive. There are two main concerns associated with the screening you should be aware of. These are: the radiation exposure with a CT scan and the possibility that you may need to have additional testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I worry about the radiation exposure?

There has been a lot of attention in the news recently about the damaging effects of radiation exposure over time. In order to minimize the amount of radiation exposure to our patients, a special “low dose” of radiation is used by CKHS radiologists when doing lung cancer screening CT scans. The amount of exposure is about the same as in a mammogram

Why would I need additional tests?

It is possible that the screening test will detect other abnormalities in your lungs that are not cancer. Additional tests may be required to determine whether the abnormality is cancer or not. These tests may cause anxiety and on some occasions lead to more invasive procedures, such as biopsy, to determine whether the finding is a cancer.

What is the cost of a lung cancer screening CT?

Because the research supporting the benefits of lung cancer CT screening is recent, most health insurance companies and Medicare do not cover the cost for lung cancer screening. That means that you will have to pay for the test on your own. The current charge for a lung cancer screening CT for eligible individuals in all of our CKHS facilities is $125.00. This will be collected by the staff in the registration area prior to the scan.

How do I schedule the test?

a primary care physician or pulmonologist, about getting a CT scan to screen for lung cancer. Be sure to discuss your complete health history and ask for a clear explanation of the possible risks and benefits of being screened. Your physician will make a prescription for a CT scan. When you have a physician prescription, either you or your physician’s office can call our medical imaging scheduling line, 1-866-5-CK-XRAY (1-866-525-9729). One of our Lung Nurse Navigators will assist you throughout the process.

When will I get the results?

Typically, the results will be available within 24 hours, the next business day after your scan. On the day of your scan, a member of our lung screening team will discuss with you how and when you will receive your results.

What do the results mean?

A” negative” result means that there were no abnormal findings at this time on this CT scan. It does not mean that you absolutely do not have lung cancer. It does not mean that you will never get lung cancer. Your doctor will discuss when and if you should be tested again.

A” suspicious” result means that the CT scan shows something abnormal. This could mean lung cancer, but in most cases, it could also mean some other condition. You may need to have additional procedures to find out exactly what is abnormal. If you do have lung cancer or some other condition, your doctor and the lung care team will discuss possible treatment options with you.

Remember: The best way to prevent lung cancer is to never smoke or to stop smoking now. If you are still smoking, talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit smoking.

Contact Us

For information about our smoking cessation programs, call the Crozer-Keystone Community Health Education Department at 610-447-6009.

If you have specific questions about the Lung Screening Program, call one of our Lung Nurse Navigators at 610-284-8313 OR 610-447-2655.