Lung Cancer Screening

Our Lungs for Life Lung Cancer Screening Program is available for people at high risk for lung cancer, with a referral from a medical provider. In most cases this procedure is covered by insurance.  

This screening does not replace diagnostic testing for a person experiencing symptoms of possible lung disease.

A lung cancer screening may find nothing, or it may find something before a person has any symptoms. The value of annual lung screenings is the opportunity to find unusual results in an early stage, when survival rates are much higher. 

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

Who should be screened? 

Lung Cancer Screening candidates must meet all the following criteria:

  • Are 55 to 80 years old
  • Are currently smoking or have quit within the last 15 years
  • Have a history of heavy smoking such as:
    • 1 pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years
    • 2 packs of cigarettes per day for 15 years
    • 3 packs of cigarettes a day for 7.5 years. 


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.