Low Dose CT Lung Screening

Lung cancer causes more deaths each year than any other form of cancer. In fact, more people die from lung cancer than colon, prostate and breast cancer combined.


Low-Dose CT Lung screening is used to detect lung cancer. LDCT stands for low-dose computed tomography. It’s a significant advancement of CT or “cat” scan technology to enable anatomical screening of the lungs at a far lower radiation dose than a typical CT scan.

The screening is fast, painless and completely non-invasive. You simply lie down and hold your breath while the CT scanner takes X-ray-based pictures of your lung and chest. After your test, the images will be interpreted by one of our specially trained radiologists, who will then present a written report of the findings to your physician. The radiologists at Radiology and Imaging Specialists at Lakeland Regional Health (RIS at LRH) have been performing LDCT lung screening tests for years. In fact, our screening program has already saved countless lives by providing early detection to at-risk patients.

All X-ray based technologies emit radiation, and CT uses X-rays to produce superior pictures of the inside of the human body. By keeping the radiation dose as low as possible, more regular screenings are possible to help our Lakeland-area patients achieve the early detection of lung disease. RIS at LRH serves patients in and around Central Florida. To schedule your LDCT, call us at (863) 688-2334.

Early Detection is the most effective way to beat lung cancer. Low Dose CT Chest Scans are more sensitive than chest X-rays in detecting early-stage lung cancer. You are a candidate if you meet the following criteria:

  • Age 50-80 years of age
  • Asymptomatic, no signs of lung cancer
  • Tobacco smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (1 pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year; 1 pack = 20 cigarettes) – 1 pack per day for 20 years – 2 packs per day for 10 years
  • Current smoker or one who has quit smoking in the last 15 years


Is The Test Covered By Insurance?

LDCT lung screening is generally covered by insurance with a referral from your doctor, and if you meet the criteria. You may ask your insurance company if the test is covered for you. If it is not, you should know that the out-of-pocket cost for this test is very affordable. 

What if the Lung Screening Finds Something?

It is not uncommon for a CT lung screening to find a small nodule or mass in the lungs, especially in current or former smokers. Most nodules are not cancer, and could be the result of an old infection, scar tissue or another cause. But your doctor may want to monitor the nodule to see if it is growing over time, or recommend another imaging test or biopsy.

You might say to yourself, “I’d rather not know.” But considering the advances in cancer treatment and the benefits of early detection, you really would rather know.

Your doctor now knows that lung cancer screening with LDCT is proven to save lives. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk factors and to help you determine if a lung screening program is right for you.

Questions? Call us at (863) 688-2334 for more information.

Should I Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

If you’re a current or former smoker, or have other risk factors, THE ANSWER MAY BE YES.

Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death. One of the reasons why is that lung cancer is too often detected after the disease has already spread throughout the lungs or to other areas of the body.  If you quit smoking your risk will decrease, but it will remain higher than for those who have never smoked.

However, if you are at risk, you may have an LDCT to detect—or rule out—lung cancer. It is designed to detect lung cancer at an earlier—and potentially more treatable—stage.

Any heredity or lifestyle factors that increase your chance of developing lung cancer is called a “risk factor.” For lung cancer, risk factors include:
• Tobacco smoking
• Contact with second-hand tobacco smoke
• Contact with asbestos or cancer-causing agents
• Contact with radon
• Family history of lung cancer
• Personal history of lung disease or other cancers

If no lung problems are detected, your LDCT should be repeated in one year. After two years, your doctor may want you to continue yearly screening, or recommend a different frequency of screening.

Why You Should Start Lung Screening Now

If you qualify, lung screening is recommended because:
• It can detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage
• It reduces your chances of dying from lung cancer or lung disease
• It can lead to less invasive surgery with less lung tissue removed

It is important to note that screening may lead to false positives, which can result in unnecessary testing, treatment or both. In addition, screening may not find cancer early enough to be cured. However, the benefits of lung screening far outweigh the potential drawbacks.

Screening programs are beneficial because they can:

  • Detect cancer at an earlier stage
  • Reduce your chances of dying from lung cancer or other lung disease
  • Result in less invasive surgery and with less lung tissue removed


Adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.


Because too often, it is only detected after the disease has already spread throughout the lungs or to other parts of the body. When it comes to lung screening, many people say, “I’d rather not know.” But when you can detect it before outward symptoms appear, lung cancer can be treated more effectively.

Your doctor knows that lung cancer screening with LDCT is proven and saves lives. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk factors and to help determine if a lung screening test is right for you.

Talk to your physician to decide if low dose CT lung screening is right for you. Call Radiology and Imaging Specialists at Lakeland Regional Health for more information at (863) 688-2334. We have several convenient locations throughout Lakeland, Fl. 

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