What is a low-dose lung screening?
Low-dose CT scan
Low-dose CT scan for lung cancer, also called a spiral CT scan, is available at Baptist Health Imaging Centers in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Benton. The screening uses X-rays to create detailed pictures of your lungs. To have the test, you lie still on a table as it passes through the center of the CT scanner. A CT scan is painless and noninvasive. It does not need any special preparation. You may be asked to hold your breath one or more times during the scan. A CT scan can show some abnormal areas that a chest X-ray might miss. But these areas often turn out not to be cancer. You may still need more invasive tests to be sure.
Our radiologists are specially trained to read this type of exam and they will score the images using a coding system (a lot like how mammograms are coded) called Lung RADS. This special code determines when the patient needs to return for their next screening CT. It may be a year, six or three months, or even immediate. We send result and follow up letters so you’ll know when to return for a follow up.
Patients that would like to schedule a low dose lung screening at one of the Baptist Health Imaging Centers must meet the following criteria in order to meet the requirements for the program:
- The patient must be 55-77 years old if they have Medicare or 55-80 for all other insurances.
- They must have at least a 30-pack-year smoking history.
- The patient must be asymptomatic.
- They can not have any signs or symptoms of cancer.
- They must be a current smoker or one would has quit within the last 15 years.
How Can I Schedule a Lung Screening?
If you meet the criteria required to have the low-dose CT scan, speak with your physician about whether a lung screening is right for you. He or she can then refer you to a location convenient for you.