The Lung Cancer Screening Program is a collaborative effort by Princeton Radiology and Princeton Medical Center (PMC).
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more people annually than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. A study by the National Cancer Institute has determined that low-dose radiation CT scans are better than traditional chest X-rays for detecting lung tumors.
Scans like those offered at Princeton Medical Center (PMC) can identify lung cancer nodules in high-risk individuals before symptoms begin and can help to save lives. Usually the earlier lung tumors can be found, the easier they are to treat successfully.
Are You at Risk?
Based on the results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), lung cancer screening is recommended for people who:
- Are current or former smokers.
- Are aged 55-74.
- Have a smoking history of 30 or more pack years (1 pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years).
- Do not have a history of lung cancer.
If you think you are a candidate for a CT scan to screen for lung cancer based on the criteria above, please talk with your doctor about the potential benefit of CT screening for your particular circumstance.
If you meet the screening program criteria above, ask your primary care physician to write an order for you to get a lung screening. The next step is to call PMC’s Central Scheduling Department at 609.497.4040. A screening questionnaire will be completed over the phone to confirm that you meet the screening program criteria above. Once eligibility is confirmed, you will be scheduled to receive a screening through this program.
To help make lung cancer screenings more affordable and accessible, Penn Medicine Princeton Health makes them available at no cost to patients who meet the eligibility criteria.
What to Expect During the Exam
The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back. Pillows may be used to help you maintain the correct position and to help you remain still during the exam. The table will move slowly through the CT machine as the actual scanning is performed. You will be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. When the examination is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are accurate. The actual CT scanning takes less than 10 seconds, but the entire appointment process is usually completed within one hour.
This program uses the recommendations from the NLST for follow-up care. Our board certified radiologists will review your results. Many screening scans detect nodules that turn out to be benign, however, to rule out cancer, further evaluation is necessary. Sometimes this evaluation may require more frequent low-dose CT scans, or a different test may be done.
After your low-dose CT scan, the results will be sent to your primary care physician and/or the physician who ordered the test. Our Nurse Navigator will work with your physician to ensure that appropriate follow-up care is received if it is necessary.
Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center
Medical Arts Pavilion
Outpatient Imaging Center
One Plainsboro Road
Plainsboro, NJ 08536