Lung Cancer Screening
If you smoke or used to smoke, you may benefit from a lung cancer screening at Wayne UNC Health Care. This test uses computed tomography (CT) technology and low radiation doses to check for cancer before you have symptoms—when treatment is most effective.
Do I Need a Screening?
Ask your doctor about a lung cancer screening if you meet all these criteria:
- You’re 55 to 77 years old
- You smoke now or quit smoking within the past 15 years
- You have at least 30 “pack years” of smoking—meaning you smoked one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years
- You don’t have lung cancer symptoms
For help deciding whether to get tested, explore our lung cancer screening guide.
How to Prepare
To make your test go smoothly, follow the instructions you receive when scheduling your screening. You may need to:
- Avoid certain foods or drinks for a short time before the exam
- Bring a list of your current medications
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes to the appointment
What to Expect
You’ll lie on a table that moves through a machine called a CT scanner. Hold your breath during the brief test so your lungs stay still while the machine captures images.
You may spend as little as five minutes in the exam room. Feel free to return to your daily activities right after the appointment.
Medicare Part B, NC Medicaid, and many private insurance plans cover lung cancer screenings if you meet the test criteria. Before scheduling the exam, call your insurance provider to confirm coverage.
A board-certified radiologist will review your images and send a report to your primary care provider. Expect a call from your doctor’s office to discuss the results and next steps.
Visit My UNC Chart to view your results in our secure, online patient portal.