Lung Cancer Screening

Our Lungs for Life Cancer Screening Program is available for people at high risk for lung cancer, with a referral from a medical provider.  Eligible candidates are 50 to 80 years old AND 

  • have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or  
  • have a 20 pack-year smoking history and have quit within the past 15 years 

A 20-pack year is defined as:  

    • 1 pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years 
    • 2 packs of cigarettes per day for 10 years 
    • 3 packs of cigarettes a day for 7 years 

While it may find nothing, a lung cancer screening can find disease in an early stage, when survival rates are much higher.  

As shown in the video below, the lung screening takes only minutes. We use a state-of-the art low-dose CT scanner, in our Designated Lung Screening Center, accredited by the American College of Radiology.  

To schedule a Lung Cancer Screening, or discuss your suitability for a screening, call: 315/472-7504. 

In most cases this procedure is covered by insurance. It does not replace diagnostic testing for a person experiencing symptoms of possible lung disease. 



Why get screened?

Lung cancer screening is a regular preventive health check, like a mammogram or a colonoscopy, and most people who get screened do not have cancer. The low-dose CT checks your lungs while you are healthy and looks for any changes from year to year. With that information, if medical care is ever necessary, we can intervene at the earliest stage of disease when remission rates are far greater. 

What does the screening involve?

The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography (also called a low-dose CT scan, or LDCT). The entire screening process, including registration, takes only about 15 minutes.  

During the LDCT scan, the patient lies on a table fully clothed and the CT scanner uses a small amount of radiation to make detailed 3-D images of their lungs. The scan is not painful, and it literally takes only seconds - please watch the video below! 

While this scan will expose you to a low-dose of radiation, LDCT uses 75% less radiation than a traditional CT scan and shows more detail than a standard chest X-ray. 

What happens after the screening?

All screening patients are encouraged to share results with their primary care physician. With your permission, we will send results to your primary care provider. 

Based on results, patients are welcome, but not required, to seek follow-up care with a HOA physician and Thoracic Nurse Navigator (TNN). 

The TNN supports the care of any lung disease patient from pre-diagnosis through all phases of treatment. She works with patients and their families to help overcome healthcare system barriers and facilitate access to quality medical and psychosocial care. The TNN can also facilitate referrals for smoking cessation programs at HOACNY.