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Low Dose Lung CT

Adults with a history of smoking can greatly benefit from the low dose CT lung screening program available at any of our Valley Health hospitals. We have a team of professionals who are trained to expertly evaluate, diagnose, and treat abnormal lung lesions that may appear in a low dose lung CT scan.

Who Benefits from a Low Dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer?

Essentially, adults with a history of smoking are most likely to benefit from this screening. Healthy adults or adults with only a few years of smoking will probably not benefit from the procedure.

Consider a low dose lung CT screening if you meet the following:

  • Individuals between the ages of 50-80
  • Individuals with a 20 pack-year smoking history
  • Individuals who are currently smoking or quit within the past 15 years
  • Individuals who are willing to repeat the screening until it no longer applies

As a clarification, a 20 pack-year smoking history can be determined a few different ways. It can be equated as one pack per day for 20 years, two packs per day for 10 years, or a half pack per day for 40 years. Those with fewer pack-years of smoking will not necessarily benefit from the screening.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Being Screened?

The downsides to undergoing a low dose lung CT scan are few; however, participants will undergo a small amount of radiation exposure. Any abnormal test results that are found could cause anxiety. Along the same line, a false positive result could require additional imaging and a biopsy. Any findings outside the lung could also require further investigation.

Will Insurance Pay for the Screening?

If criteria for a low dose lung CT screening are met, Medicare and most insurance plans will pay for yearly screenings. Financial assistance may be available for individuals who meet screening criteria but do not have insurance to cover low dose lung CT screening.

If you meet the criteria or want to learn more, ask your doctor about low dose lung CT screening or call the lung navigator toll-free at 844-532-8669.

Quitting Smoking

The best way to reduce your lung cancer risk is not to smoke. When you’re ready, Valley Health can help you quit for FREE. No matter where you live in the northern Shenandoah Valley and the surrounding region, when you’re ready to quit smoking Valley Health can provide the education, tools and support you need to succeed. Classes are held regularly at convenient locations across the region. (Due to COVID-19, no group clinics are scheduled at this time.) Visit for class details and registration information.