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Lung CT screening

Over 80 percent of lung cancers have a chance to be cured if detected at an early stage.

Lung CT screening gives you that chance.

If you’re a smoker or former smoker, early detection of lung cancer is key to preventing more serious problems later. A newly recommended, low-dose lung CT screening available at Baptist Health Louisville and Baptist Eastpoint gives you the ability to take that positive step to safeguard your health.

The recommendation follows the release of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) study in November 2010 that looked at screening methods to reduce deaths from lung cancer by detecting cancers at relatively early stages. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) revealed 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among those who were screened with low-dose spiral CT than with a chest X-ray.

The screening is part of the Baptist Health Louisville Lung Care Center, which is dedicated to the early detection, treatment and follow up of patients with lung disease.

Who is a candidate for lung CT screening?

Based on the NLST guidelines, those recommended to have a lung CT screening include:

  • Current or former heavy smokers
  • 55 to 74 years old
  • Less than 15 years since quitting
  • No signs, symptoms or a personal history of lung cancer

Heavy smokers (or former smokers) would have a smoking history of at least 10 pack years, calculated by multiplying the average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years a person has smoked.

What is lung CT screening and how is it performed?

Spiral CT (or low-dose helical computed tomography) uses X-rays to obtain a multi-image scan of the chest. These images, or slices, can detect tumors significantly under 1 cm in size, compared to a standard chest X-ray. For the lung CT screening, there are no needles, injections or contrast required. The patient simply lies face up on a narrow table that slides into the center of the scanner. Patients are asked to lie still and briefly hold their breath to ensure a clean image. The scan itself can be completed in about 30 seconds.

How much does it cost and is it covered by insurance?

Lung CT screenings at Baptist East cost $185 and are not covered by insurance.

How do I schedule an appointment?

If you are interested in being screened – and you meet the screening criteria – call the Baptist Health Information Center at (502) 897-8131, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. We ask that you be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Tobacco smoking history (Number of years you have smoked; number of packs per day; if a former smoker, when you quit smoking)
  • Phone number and best time to reach you

You may also complete an online form to determine your screening eligibility.

Lung CT screening FAQs

For more information, refer to the frequently asked questions, provided by the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP). For more information on I-ELCAP, visit