Low Dose Spiral Computed Tomography - LDCT

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Published on March 09, 2018

Low Dose Spiral Computed Tomography - LDCT

Doctor and patient looking at lunch x-ray

Doctor and patient looking at lunch x-rayLung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. Therefore, early detection is crucial - studies have shown that having a yearly scan can help reduce the risk of lung cancer death by 20%.

PIH Health offers one of the most advanced lung cancer screening exams that helps identify lung cancer even before a patient starts to experience symptoms, low-dose spiral computed tomography (LDCT). This screening is recommended for those considered to be at high-risk for lung cancer.

Who is Considered High-Risk?

An annual LDCT scan is recommended for the following patients:

  • Ages 55 to 80
  • A current smoker or has quit smoking within the last 15 years
  • A smoking history equivalent to one pack per day for 30 years

How Does the Screening Work?

An LDCT exam is easy to take and no prior prepping is required. You will simply hold your breath for about ten seconds while a technician takes a scan - the entire process takes only about ten minutes.

On the day of your exam, your questions and concerns will be answered 30 minutes prior to the scan by one of our nurse navigators.

During the exam, no needles or medication are required. You will lie still on a table and hold your breath for 10 seconds. During this time an X-ray machine will take images of your chest from different angles to form it into a picture.

After the exam, the completed image of your LDCT scan will then be read by one of our radiologists.

What do my Results Mean?

Results will show whether or not there is a nodule in your lungs.

  • If a nodule is found, it does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Many patients have benign or non-cancerous nodules. Following the discovery of benign nodule, you will be closely monitored in alignment to national screening guidelines.
  • If a nodule is found that is suspicious for cancer, we will ensure that you be referred to a pulmonologist (lung specialist) for additional examinations.
  • If no nodule is found, continue with annual screenings until you are no longer considered a high-risk patient. It is critical that you stay on top of these follow-up annual exams.

Why Should I be Screened at PIH Health?

PIH Health is an excellent option for your lung screenings with our advanced lung services.

The PIH Health Lung Cancer Screening Program is a Lung Cancer Alliance Screening Center of Excellence and is an American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Center Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center. We offer:

  • Compliance with the quality lung cancer screening procedures
  • Advanced technology and minimally invasive lung surgery options
  • Compliance with the quality standards for screening procedures

Where can I Learn More?

If you have questions about being screened for lung cancer or would like additional information, contact the PIH Health Lung Cancer Screening Program at 562.967.2892

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.