Cancer Program

CT Lung Screening

Lung cancer is not only treatable, but potentially curable when diagnosed in its early stages. St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka is committed to providing the best technology available for early detection: low-dose CT lung screening (LDCT).

About 1 out of 4 LDCT lung screening exams will find something in the lung that may require additional imaging or evaluation. Most of the time these findings are lung nodules.

Lung nodules are very small collections of tissue in the lung. These nodules are very common, and the vast majority—more than 97%—are not cancer (benign). Most are normal lung tissue or small areas of scarring from past infections.

Less commonly, lung nodules are cancer. According to the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST, 2011), if a small lung nodule is found to be cancer, the cancer can be cured more than 90% of the time.

Should you consider a lung screening?

You should consider a lung screening if you are at risk for lung cancer.

  • Are you between 55 and 74 years old?
  • Are you currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years?
  • Have you smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 20+ years?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you may be a candidate for a low-cost CT lung cancer screening.

Scheduling

To schedule your CT lung screening, contact your primary care provider (PCP) or the Priority Care Center at (707) 442-0478.

Please note: You do not have to be a patient to receive this screening. To be eligible, you should receive a referral for the exam from your PCP prior to your scheduled appointment. If you do not have a PCP or are unable to get a referral, contact the Priority Care Center.

What to expect

CT lung screening is quick and easy and results in a minimal amount of radiation exposure. It is also one of the easiest screening exams you can have. No medications are given, and no needles are used. You can eat before and after the exam. You do not even need to get changes as long as the clothing on your chest does not contain metal. You must, however, be able to hold your breath for at least six seconds while the chest scan is being taken.

More about CT screening

Of the top four deadliest cancers in the U.S. (lung, prostate, breast and colorectal), lung cancer is the only one not subject to routine screening. Based on the findings of the NLST, we now have confirmation that CT lung screening can save lives of people at high risk for developing lung cancer.

Most private insurers and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimburse for this type of screening. If patients are currently uninsured, St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka offers low-cost options. For more information on payment options, patients can call (707) 445-8121, ext. 7120.

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