Early detection can save lives, especially for current and former smokers.
If you are a current or former smoker, you’re at risk for lung cancer. If doctors find the disease early, when the tumor is located only in the lungs, up to 75 percent of people survive five years or more. Many of these patients are cured.
The gold standard for identifying lung cancer early uses computed tomography (CT) scans. Henry Ford Health System was part of a national study that found CT lung screening reduced the chance of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent, compared with chest X-ray screening.
Should I have a CT scan to check for lung cancer?
We work with you and your doctor to see if early-detection screening makes sense for you. Not all current or former smokers need a CT scan to screen for lung cancer. We recommend CT scans for people who:
Are 55 to 77 years old (some insurance plans cover patients up to 80 years old)
Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
Have smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years or more, or the equivalent (for example, you may have smoked two packs a day for 15 years)
Have not had a chest CT scan within the last 12 months
Henry Ford's specialized Lung Cancer Screening Clinic screens people to identify potential lung cancer as early as possible.
The clinic brings patients together with pulmonologists, nurse practitioners, nurses and smoking cessation counselors. We work together with radiologists, oncologists, surgeons and other cancer specialists to help you manage your health condition and achieve your health goals.
Should I Get Screened?
Not everyone needs to be screened for lung cancer. Find out if you're at risk and need to schedule a screening.
What is involved with having a low-dose CT scan for lung cancer?
We offer a comprehensive screening process, centered on your needs. Generally, it involves:
The CT scan is quick and painless. It uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to create detailed images. You don’t have to worry about receiving too much radiation during screening. Our low-dose CT scan technology means you’ll experience about a quarter of the radiation emitted by standard CT scans.
Most often, we will contact you to schedule a screening if you are eligible. You or your doctor also can call us to schedule a screening. Most insurance companies do not charge copay or deductible for the lung cancer screening.
Informed decision-making meeting: The day of your screening, our dedicated nurse practitioners meet with a group of six to 10 patients at a time to explain the process and answer questions. Once we have answered all your questions, we’ll walk you to your screening.
Results and follow-up:
We will review your scan results and send the findings to your primary doctor. Your doctor will discuss your results with you. We’ll also share any other concerns we identify, such as potential heart or blood vessel problems.
If the scan shows something suspicious, we may ask you to return for follow-up screening in a few months. If we spot an abnormality, our team can work with you to immediately schedule a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and other follow-up procedures.
Screening for lung cancer is a process, not a single test. Individuals who qualify should have a yearly CT scan as long as necessary. We usually recommend annual screening until people have gone 15 years without smoking tobacco.
Get help to quit smoking
The No. 1 way to reduce your risk for lung cancer is not to smoke tobacco. If you already use tobacco, you can lower your lung cancer risk if you quit smoking.
Henry Ford Allegiance Health is committed to your long-term lung health, and we will follow up with your care after your lung screening. As part of our lung cancer screening program, one of our radiologists will review the results of your screening, based on recommendations from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network®—a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world’s leading cancer centers. Your follow-up care may include periodic CT scans to monitor your lung health and ensure your highest quality of life.
We are proud to be designated as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance. With this designation, the Lung Cancer Alliance recognizes Henry Ford Allegiance’s ongoing commitment to responsible, high quality screening practices.
For more information on lung screenings, please call (517) 205-2388.