Lung Cancer Screening FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get screened?

Current smokers or former smokers are at increased risk of developing lung cancer and other lung disease. Exposure to tobacco smoke may increase your risk of getting lung cancer and other diseases. Talk to your doctor about whether CT screening may be right for you. The best hope for curing lung cancer is finding it early.

How is a CT scan different from a chest X-ray?

A chest X-ray only shows the front and side views of your chest. A low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan shows many cross-sectional images from the top of your lungs to the bottom. A CT scan gives doctors a more complete picture of your lungs.

What happens during a CT Scan?

The CT machine is shaped like a big doughnut. A moving table slides you in and out of the "doughnut" in 20 seconds. The machine revolves around you, taking pictures from many angles. No injections or medications are needed. It is a non-invasive procedure and the amount of radiation used is low.

How much will the screening CT cost?

If you qualify for the program, you will receive a free low-dose CT scan of the chest. If additional follow-up tests are needed, they are generally covered by insurance. If you have a lung nodule, you may also be eligible to be followed in our Lung Nodule Program.


  • Current or former smokers between the ages of 50-80 years of age with a history of 20 pack years or more. (A pack year is the number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years. Example would be: 1 pack/day for 20 years equals 20 pack years.)
  • Current smokers or individuals who have quit smoking less than 15 years ago.
  • Individuals without lung cancer symptoms.
  • A prescription for a low-dose chest CT for lung cancer screening is necessary prior to the screening

For more information or to make an appointment, call the Lung Cancer Screening and Lung Nodule Program at 732-923-7966.

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