A low-radiation-dose CT scan can detect lung cancer
at its earliest stages, making treatment both easier and more effective.


Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Often the disease does not cause symptoms until it has progressed to advanced stages, when it is difficult to treat and chances of survival decrease.

 A low-radiation-dose CT scan can detect lung cancer at its earliest stages, making treatment both easier and more effective. Such screening is only appropriate for people who may be at higher risk for lung cancer due to their history of smoking.


A low-dose CT scan of the chest for lung cancer is similar to a mammography screening for breast cancer. Both can detect cancer in its early stages and save lives. It is estimated that lung cancer deaths can be reduced by 20%, or up to 22,000 lives can be saved by this screening each year.

Do I need a physician referral?

Yes, you need a physician order.

How is the screening performed?

The screening test is performed with a low-radiation-dose spiral CT. The CT scanner rotates around your body, while you lie still on a table that passes through the center of the scanner. The CT scan provides detailed images of the inside of your body, made by a computer that combines the X-ray images taken from different angles.

 How long does it take?

The exam takes only a few minutes.

What happens if the test finds an abnormality?

If an abnormality is found, it does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Small nodules and other abnormalities are found in about 1 in 5 screening CT scans. Most of these do not turn out to be cancer, but may require more testing (which may be covered by insurance). Discuss your results with your provider.


If cancer is found, your team will work with your primary care physician and you on a treatment plan. The Alan P. Lyss Center for Cancer Care and Clinical Research, located within Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, offers you the very latest in treatment options, and the best trained professionals, including a team of cancer specialists from the Cancer Center at Missouri Baptist, who bring their expertise to the Ste. Genevieve community. You’ll want the very latest in treatment options, the best trained professionals, including a team of top doctors, and the most advanced cancer-fighting technology.

CT low dose lung cancer screening scan shows cancer clearly in the left lobe.
The image on the right is cancer free.


People with a history of cigarette smoking have a high risk of lung cancer. In fact, tobacco use accounts for almost 90% of all lung cancers. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer.

 It is recommended that adults age 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years be screened:

  • Screen for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (CT) every year.

  • Stop screening once a person has not smoked for 15 years or has a health problem that limits life expectancy or the ability to have lung surgery.

Additional lung cancer risk factors.

  • Exposure to radon, a radioactive gas that can exist in houses

  • Exposure to asbestos, especially if exposure occurred in the workplace 

  • History of cancer 

  • Exposure to cancer-causing agents in the environment, especially occupational exposure such as arsenic, chromium, nickel, cadmium, beryllium or silica 

  • Lung scarring from certain types of pneumonia or a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) A first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has had lung cancer


The CT low dose lung cancer screening is offered at the hospital’s main campus located at 800 Ste. Genevieve Drive.
Contact your provider today to order your screening.

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