Lung Cancer Screening Program for Early Detection 

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist aims to find lung cancer early – when it’s most treatable. Our Lung Cancer Screening Program screens patients who are at high risk for lung cancer and connects them to advanced, comprehensive care if cancer is found.

Lung cancer is the number 1 cause of cancer death in the United States, for men and women. Often signs or symptoms don’t develop until lung cancer reaches an advanced stage, when it spreads to other parts of the body – and is very difficult to cure.

About lung cancer screening

What is lung screening?

Lung cancer screening is quick and painless. We use a low-dose CT scan to take a detailed 3D picture of your lungs, using a small amount of radiation (up to 90% less than a conventional CT scan). The CT may show normal, healthy lung tissue, or it may show a small, round growth (nodule) or other findings like emphysema (a lung condition that causes shortness of breath). Any abnormal findings will be carefully reviewed by our expert team and a diagnosis and treatment plan will follow when needed.

Is lung screening right for me?

You’re at a higher risk of getting lung cancer depending on your age and smoking history. The U.S. cancer taskforce in charge of providing preventive efforts recently released new guidelines for lung screening. The age range is expanded, and the number of packs smoked in a year is even lower – meaning you may now be encouraged to get screened for lung cancer.

You may be eligible for lung screening if you: 

  • Are 50 to 80 years old 
  • Smoked cigarettes in the last 15 years 
  • Have a 20 pack year smoking history, for example: 
    • 1 pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years or more 
    • 2 packs of cigarettes per day for 10 years or more 
    • 1/2 pack per day for 40 years or more 

If you’re eligible and decide to be screened for lung cancer, it’s important to be screened once a year, every year, until you’re no longer considered to be at high risk of developing lung cancer. Still not sure if you're eligible? Take our quiz to find out

Low Dose CT Lung Screening

For patients at high risk of developing lung cancer, low-dose CT lung screening offers an opportunity to detect lung cancer at its earliest stage, when it is most treatable.