Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Yet, if detected early, lung cancer has cure rates as high as 80-90%. A lung screening could save your life.

Our Capabilities

Our Lung Cancer Screening Program was the first screening program in Greater Cincinnati and is recognized by the Lung Cancer Alliance as a Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence. Our team is composed of experts in every area of lung cancer and is the only team of its kind in the region. By combining extensive, specialized lung cancer treatment expertise with the power of scientific discovery, we offer the most advanced care options available.

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Early detection is crucial in the fight against cancer. By leveraging advanced diagnostic technologies, we offer comprehensive screenings designed to identify cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages. Our experienced healthcare professionals ensure that each individual receives personalized care tailored to their unique needs. Regular screening can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment, offering peace of mind and empowering individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to take proactive steps toward their health. 

To schedule an appointment, please call the Cancer Screening team at 513-475-8000.

About This Procedure

Understanding Lung Cancer Screenings

The Importance of Regular Lung Cancer Screening


Lung cancer screening is crucial for early detection, particularly for individuals at high risk. Screening can significantly improve outcomes by identifying lung cancer in its early stages when it's most treatable.

Overview of Lung Cancer Types

There are several types of lung cancer, including small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. Each type requires a different approach to screening and treatment.

The Role of Screening in Improving Lung Cancer Cure Rates

Screening is a key measure for the early detection of lung cancer. It's crucial for those with risk factors such as smoking or exposure to hazardous substances.

However, as lung cancer does not generally cause symptoms until it is at a more advanced stage, screening can detect lung cancer when it is treatable. Currently, annual lung cancer screening is recommended for people at a higher risk of lung cancer, such as those over the age of 50 with a moderate to heavy smoking history.  

Understanding Lung Cancer


Lung cancer involves the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lungs. It's often asymptomatic in the early stages, which underscores the importance of screening.

Lung Cancer Facts and Figures

Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death globally, in both men and women. Early detection through screening can lead to more effective treatment options and increased survival rates.

Lung Cancer Screening Methods


Low Dose CT (LDCT) Scans for Lung Screening

A low-dose CT scan is the primary method for lung cancer screening. It's effective in detecting early-stage lung cancer, especially in high-risk individuals. It is recommended to have this done annually. 

The Process of Lung Cancer Screenings

The screening process includes a CT scan to identify any lung nodules or abnormalities. It's a quick, non-invasive procedure crucial for early detection.

Importance of Early Detection

Detecting lung cancer early can dramatically improve survival rates. Early-stage lung cancer typically doesn't cause symptoms, making regular screenings vital.

Risk Factors and Early Detection


Identifying High-Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

High-risk factors include smoking, exposure to radon and asbestos, and a family history of lung cancer. Identifying these factors can guide screening recommendations.

Impact of Smoking Cessation

Quitting smoking is the most effective way to reduce the risk of lung cancer. There are many programs and options to help you quit smoking which can be discussed with your doctor. 

Role of Healthcare Providers in Screening

Your doctor can talk to you about lung cancer screening and if it is right for you. 

Advancements in Lung Cancer Screening


Latest Developments in Lung Cancer Detection

Advancements in screening techniques, including low-dose computed tomography, have significantly improved the early detection of lung cancer.  At UC Health, we are on the leading-edge of new technology for lung cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment. 

Contributions of Clinical Trials and Research

Clinical trials and ongoing research are vital in advancing lung cancer screening methods and developing more effective treatments.

Role of National Lung Screening Trial

The National Lung Screening Trial has provided valuable insights into the effectiveness of low-dose CT scans in reducing lung cancer mortality among high-risk groups.

Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines


American Cancer Society Recommendations

The American Cancer Society provides guidelines for lung cancer screening, focusing on annual screenings for individuals at high risk due to smoking history.

National Guidelines for Lung Cancer Screening

National guidelines recommend annual lung cancer screening using low-dose CT scans for individuals at high risk, such as current and former heavy smokers.

FAQs about Lung Cancer Screening

How does a lung cancer screening work?

Individuals meeting the eligibility criteria will receive a low-dose CT screening that is read and interpreted by one of our dedicated chest radiologists to ensure the most accurate results.

Nurse coordinators help patients navigate the screening process and discuss results with each patient.

Screening results are discussed by our multidisciplinary lung cancer team – the only team of its kind in the region – each week to develop a personalized plan for each patient.

What are the benefits of a lung cancer screening?

A lung screening could save your life.

Smokers are up to 30 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop lung cancer – the deadliest of cancers – but more than 90% of patients can be cured of lung cancer if they are diagnosed early.

What are the screening methods for lung cancer?

Lung cancer screening is done with a low radiation-dose CT scan. The scan takes a few minutes to complete and there are no IVs or contrast given.

Who should get a lung cancer screening?

If you are 50 to 80 years old and are a heavy smoker, such as smoking a pack a day, or a past smoker who quit within the last 15 years, a low-dose CT scan every year is recommended.

What are they looking for during a lung cancer screening?

Dedicated chest radiologists are looking for spots in the lung or other findings such as enlarged lymph nodes. It’s important to note that most spots seen during lung cancer screening are not cancer.

How is early-stage lung cancer detected?

Early-stage lung cancer does not typically cause symptoms, so the best way to detect lung cancer early is with screening.

Does screening help people live longer?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., in both men and women, yet if detected early, lung cancer has cure rates as high as 80-90%. Early detection with screening, smoking cessation and personalized treatment while lung cancer is localized, are essential to improving survival.

Who is at risk for lung cancer?

Anyone can get lung cancer. But there are some factors that can increase your risk for lung cancer. These include:

  • Tobacco smoke. Smoking is by far the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. About eight in 10 lung cancer deaths are linked to smoking. The longer you smoke and the more you smoke each day, the greater your risk. Cigar and pipe smoking are almost as likely to cause lung cancer as cigarette smoking.
  • Secondhand smoke. Breathing in other people's smoke also increases your risk for lung cancer.
  • Radon. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It naturally comes from rocks and soil. It can enter the air and be breathed into the lungs. Outdoor levels of radon are not usually a concern. But radon can collect in the lower parts of buildings, such as the basements of homes. Radon levels vary across the country and even within neighborhoods. People who live a long time in a home with high radon levels have a higher risk for lung cancer. If you are concerned about radon, you can have your home tested.
  • Asbestos. Asbestos is a type of mineral fiber found in rocks and soil in many parts of the world. It has been used for many years in insulation and other products. Breathing in asbestos fibers can raise your risk for lung cancer. This is especially a concern for people who work around asbestos for many years.
  • Exposure to other chemicals. Certain other chemicals have been linked to lung cancer. These are found mostly in the workplace. The chemicals include arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, silica, vinyl chloride, nickel compounds, chromium compounds, coal products, mustard gas, diesel exhaust and chloromethyl ethers.
  • Air pollution. Air pollution seems to slightly raise the risk for lung cancer. This is especially true if you live near roads that have lots of traffic.
  • Radiation therapy to the chest. People who have had radiation to the chest in the past have a higher risk for lung cancer. Radiation therapy might have been used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma or breast cancer, for example.
  • Personal history of lung cancer. People who have had lung cancer are at risk of getting another lung cancer.
  • Family history of lung cancer. People with a family history of lung cancer have an increased risk for lung cancer. This is especially true if a parent, brother or sister had it. Some of this risk might be from shared household risk factors, such as tobacco smoke or radon exposure. Some of the risk might also be from shared genes in the family. For instance, some gene changes that run in families have been found to be linked to a greater risk for lung cancer. This can even affect people who have never smoked.

How can you manage the risk of lung cancer?

  • Don’t smoke!
  • Stay away from secondhand smoke. 
  • Have your home tested for radon.
  • Avoid or limit your exposure to chemicals that can cause lung cancer, such as diesel exhaust and asbestos.
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

Do you smoke and want to quit?

If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how hard it can be. That is because nicotine is a very addictive drug. Within seconds of taking a puff of smoke, nicotine travels to the brain. It tells the brain to release chemicals that make you want to smoke more.

Quitting is difficult. Usually, people try to quit two or three times or more before finally being able to quit. Studies show that each time you try to quit, you will be stronger and will learn more about what helps and what hurts in the process. Half of all people who have ever smoked have quit. You can do it, too!

Anyone can quit smoking. The decision to quit and your success depend on how much you want to stop smoking.

Ask your doctor about ways to help you quit smoking.

Some questions for you . . .

  • Why do you smoke?
  • Why do you want to quit?
  • How will you feel when you stop smoking?

Three reasons to quit smoking:

  • Your children.
  • Your family.
  • You!

How much does a lung cancer screening cost?

Lung cancer screening is now covered by most insurance programs, including Medicare, for eligible patients. If your insurance does not cover this screening, we offer a discounted self-pay rate.

How do I schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment, call 513-584-LUNG (5864) and select option 1.

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