Lung Cancer Screening in NJ

Screening is the process of looking for cancer in people who don’t have symptoms. Your doctor may recommend screening if you have an increased risk for lung cancer. Sometimes this can detect cancer early, when it is likely to be easier to treat.

In general screening is not done for lung cancer. This is because studies have not found that tests like x-rays or looking for cancer cells in coughed-up mucus (sputum cytology) actually save lives. But a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan or spiral CT scan, may be able to help. An LDCT scan uses x-rays to create detailed pictures of your lungs. To have the test, you lie still on a table as it passes through the center of the CT scanner. A CT scan is painless and noninvasive, and does not require any special preparation. You may be asked to hold your breath one or more times during the scan. A CT scan can show some abnormal areas that a chest x-ray might miss, but these areas often turn out not to be cancer. You may still need more invasive tests to be sure.

It’s not clear if spiral CT scans can find cancer in people who are not heavy smokers or who have not smoked at all, or if the test can find cancer in people younger than age 55. Studies of the spiral CT scan have only been on heavy smokers who were 55 to 74 years old.

Spiral CT scans also have some downsides. They find many abnormalities that turn out not to be cancer but that still need more testing to be sure. This can cause people to feel anxious, and subject you to unneeded tests such as more CT scans. And it might mean more invasive tests such as biopsies or surgery, even when a person doesn't have lung cancer. Spiral CT scans also use a small amount of radiation during each test.

Groups such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Cancer Society, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network have issued early detection guidelines. They recommend talking with your doctor if you are:

  • Age 55 to 74, or slightly older. Check with your insurance plan, because some plans may extend the age limit to 77 or even 80.
  • Are current or former smokers. Former means quitting within the last 15 years.
  • Have at least a 30 pack-year history of smoking
  • Are in good enough health to be helped by screening. This means that if an early lung cancer is found on screening, they would be able to survive lung surgery to remove it.

These groups also generally recommend that screening should be done at a cancer hospital that has experience with screening, such as any of our cancer centers across NJ.

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Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Howell
4013 Route 9
Suite 2S
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Lakewood
600 River Ave
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 923-7700
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Medical Specialty Services at Bayonne
16 East 29th Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
(973) 926-7280
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The Family Health Center (FHC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
166 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7300
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Colts Neck
310 Route 34 South
Second Floor
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 923-7700
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7700
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Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center
377 Jersey Avenue
Ground Floor, Medical Office Building
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(877) 393-5374
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Community Medical Center Women's Imaging Center - Toms River
368 Lakehurst Rd
1st Floor
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8146
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Westfield
560 Springfield Ave
Westfield, NJ 07090
(973) 322-7020
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Metuchen
173 Essex Ave
Metuchen, NJ 08840
(732) 494-0415
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Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
200 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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Monmouth Medical Center Outpatient Infusion Center
100 State Route 36 West
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 923-6575
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Livingston
200 South Orange Avenue
Suite 102
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7020
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Eric B. Chandler Health Center at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
277 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-6700
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Eric B. Chandler Health Center Church St. Annex
123 Church Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-2052
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
125 Paterson Street.
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-6200
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group at Monroe
800 Bunn Drive
Suite 303
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 655-5178
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group
18 Centre Drive
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(609) 655-5178
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Cancer Center at RWJ Hamilton
2575 Klockner Road
Hamilton Township, NJ 08690
(609) 631-6960
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RWJUH Lab Services at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
First Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 937-8588
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The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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RWJ University Hospital New Brunswick
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-2465
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