Lung Assessment & Screening

Ninety percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking, making it the largest risk factor for developing the disease. Someone who has smoked for 30 to 40 years is 20 to 40 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Ten percent of lung cancers occur in people who have never smoked. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, excluding skin cancer, accounting for 14 percent of all new cancers and making it the leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

The early detection of lung disease and lung cancer is critical in determining appropriate treatment. Saint Peter’s University Hospital provides low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung screening for those who are at high risk for lung disease. Lung screenings are now covered by insurance plans, including Medicare.

Screening is available if you are a smoker or a former smoker between the ages of 55 and 77 with a history of smoking of 1 pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years, or a current smoker or previous smoker who has quit during the past 15 years for has no previous diagnosis of lung cancer. 

At Saint Peter’s our state-of-the-art low-dose GE VCT scanner features advanced computer software that produces high resolution images while reducing radiation dosage. After completion of the low-dose CT screening, your results will be shared with you and your primary care physician.

Pulmonary Nodules Questions & Answers

What is a pulmonary nodule?

  1. If you have been diagnosed with a pulmonary nodule, it means that you have a growth in the lung that can be caused by several things. The presence of a nodule does not necessarily mean a patient has lung cancer. Infections and inflammatory conditions can cause nodules.   

What are the symptoms?

  1. Most of the time patients are unaware that they have a nodule until it is seen on imaging. The diagnosis is referred to as an incidental finding.

What happens if I have a nodule?

  1. At Saint Peter’s, the management of pulmonary nodules is individualized for each patient. The recommended plan depends on the size and appearance of your nodule or nodules, as well as your level of risk for cancer. Small nodules in patients at low risk for cancer may not require any follow up. In other cases, your provider may order a follow up a computerized axial tomography scan( CT scan), a positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET- CT), or a biopsy. If you require follow up or additional testing, your patient navigator will assist in scheduling these appointments. 

For more information, questions or to participate in our healthy lung screening program call our patient navigator at 732.745.8600 ext 5864​.

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