Lung Cancer Screening

If you have smoked for many years, you may want to think about screening (testing) for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). Before deciding, you should consider the possible benefits and harms of lung cancer screening.

Download and print this decision aid and use it to help you talk with your doctor or health care provider to find out if lung cancer screening is right for you.

Who Should Be Screened

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the nation’s major healthcare programs They advise lung cancer screening for people who are 50 to 77 years old and:

  • Do not have any signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Have not had lung cancer before
  • Currently smoke or quit less than 15 years ago
  • Are or were heavy smokers (such as those who smoked 1 pack per day for 20 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years)

How the Screening Works

During an LDCT scan, you lie on a table and an X-ray machine uses a low dose (amount) of radiation to make detailed images of your lungs. The scan takes only a few minutes and is not painful.

Risks And Benefits Of Lung Cancer Screening

Possible benefits include:

  • You have a greater chance of finding lung cancer earlier, before it has spread
  • Screening may identify lung cancer even before symptoms are noticeable

Possible risks include:

  • False alarms (having a positive screening test but not actually having lung cancer), which may cause your doctor to order more tests or procedures.
  • Lung cancer screening may find a lung cancer that would have never caused symptoms or harmed you in your lifetime if the cancer had not been found.
  • Lung cancer screening, and any other testing, will expose you to a low dose of radiation. High amounts of radiation increase your chance of getting cancer.

Insurance Coverage For Lung Cancer Screening

Private insurance plans may cover lung cancer screening for people age 50 through 77, with no out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare pays for lung cancer screening with no out-of-pocket costs for people up to age 77 if you meet the following:

  • You must have a written order from your health care provider (your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant).
  • Your visit with your health care provider must be a “shared decision-making visit.” In this visit your health care provider will use one or more decision aids to discuss the risks and benefits of lung cancer screening, including follow up diagnostic testing, over diagnosis, false alarms, and total radiation exposure from screening.
  • You must go to a screening facility that is taking part in the lung cancer screening registry set up for Medicare patients.

Your doctor or health care provider can help you find out what is needed for Medicare to cover this test. There may be extra costs for follow-up tests and/or treatments after the first screening exam. Contact your insurance company to see if the procedures are covered and how much it might cost you.

Self-Pay Lung Screening

Premier Health offers a self-pay lung screening option for $99 for current or past smokers who do not meet insurance coverage criteria.

Additionally, the self-pay option is offered for those with prolonged environmental exposure who meet the following criteria:

  • 40 years old or older
  • More than 20 years of exposure to toxins and respiratory irritants, including:
    • Heavy metals from manufacturing and construction
    • Diesel/automotive fumes
    • Smoke and soot

Talk with your doctor or health care provider to see if self-pay is an option for you.

If You Learn You Have Lung Cancer

Premier Health has a team of cancer specialists who can help you. An oncology nurse navigator will be with you each step of the way throughout treatment and into recovery and survivorship. To learn more about our oncology nurse navigators, call (844) 316-HOPE (4673) (844) 316-HOPE (4673).

Help Quitting Smoking?

Premier Community Health offers free quit smoking classes that are open to the community. These programs are designed to help you quit for good. For date, times, and locations, call CareFinders at (866) 608-3463(866) 608-3463.

Additional support is available through these resources:

Convenient Cancer Screening Locations

Atrium Medical Center

One Medical Center Dr.
Middletown, OH 45005

Imaging – Middletown
4214 Grand Ave.
Middletown, OH 45044

Miami Valley Hospital

One Wyoming St.
Dayton, OH 45409

Diagnostics and Imaging – Beavercreek
1244 Meadow Bridge Dr.
Beavercreek, OH 45434

Miami Valley Health Center Huber Heights 
6251 Miami Valley Way, Suite 140
Huber Heights, OH 45424

Diagnostics and Imaging – Jamestown
4940 Cottonville Road
Jamestown, OH 45335

Diagnostics and Imaging – Springboro
630 N. Main St.
Springboro, OH 45066

Miami Valley Hospital North Campus 
9000 N. Main St.
Dayton, OH 45415

Miami Valley Hospital South Campus
2400 Miami Valley Dr.
Centerville, OH 45459

Upper Valley Medical Center

3130 N. County Road 25A
Troy, OH 45373

*The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that the use of a low-dose spiral CT to screen high-risk individuals led to a 20 percent rate reduction in the number of lung cancer deaths compared to screening with a standard chest X-ray.


Contact Us

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.