MH Imaging Lung Cancer Screening Services

Lung cancer screenings are medical tests that are used to detect lung cancer in people who do not have any symptoms. The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan.

LDCT scans are a type of X-ray that uses a lower dose of radiation than traditional X-rays. LDCT scans can help to detect lung cancer at an early stage, when it is more likely to be cured.

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual LDCT screening for adults who are 50 to 80 years old and who have a 20 pack-year smoking history (smoking 1 pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, or 2 packs a day for 10 years, etc.). The USPSTF also recommends that screening 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.


What is Lung Cancer Screening?

The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is helical low-dose computed tomography (also called low-dose CT or LDCT) for persons who are at high risk for lung cancer because of their age and cigarette smoking history.

The National Lung Screening Trial, a clinical research study in which participants at high risk for lung cancer were randomly assigned to receive lung cancer screening with LDCT or chest x-ray, found that screening with LDCT reduced lung cancer deaths.9 In this test, an x-ray machine scans the body in a spiral path and uses low doses of radiation to make detailed pictures of the lungs. If an LDCT scan reveals a pulmonary nodule, additional evaluation may be needed to determine whether lung cancer is present.

How it works

The American College of Radiology has developed a Lung Imaging Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS) to help classify nodules and standardize the interpretation of LDCT scans. A nodule may be monitored with serial CTs, evaluated further (for example with a PET scan or biopsy), or managed surgically depending on its size and chance of becoming cancer.

Clinical settings that have high rates of diagnostic accuracy using LDCT, appropriate follow-up protocols for positive results, and clear criteria for doing invasive procedures are more likely to duplicate the results found in carefully controlled research studies such as the National Lung Screening Trial.