CT Lung Cancer Screening Program

Lung cancer is the #1 one cancer killer in America, taking more lives than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Every year, 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer and 160,000 die from it. However, early detection of small lung cancers can increase the 5-year survival rate by up to 90%.

The Low-Dose Computer Tomography (LDCT) Lung Cancer Screening Program at UMass Memorial Health provides regular screenings to patients who are at risk for developing lung cancer. Through LDCT examinations, we can proactively and safely screen patients for this disease.

LDCT lung cancer screening is the first and only cost-effective test proven to detect lung cancer at an early stage, which can result in a better chance of survival for patients. LDCT lung cancer screening at UMass Memorial Health is performed with low radiation and has minimal risk for the patient. The LDCT examination does not require the use of contrast and the examination is completed within 10 minutes.

UMass Memorial Health is a pioneer in LDCT lung cancer screenings and our program is a designated Lung Cancer Screening Center, accredited by the American College of Radiology.

Benefits of Early Detection

Most lung cancers are found as a result of symptoms, such as pain or cough. These symptoms usually don't appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. But when lung cancer is caught early and treated, the survival rate may substantially increase.

By providing LDCT screenings to patients who are at risk for developing lung cancer, we can proactively and safely screen patients for this disease.

Should I Be Screened?

LDCT lung cancer screening is recommended for individuals who:

  • Are aged 50 to 80 years.
  • ​Have smoked at least an average of one pack a day for 20 years (20 pack years). Pack years are calculated using the number of years you smoked and the amount of packs of cigarettes smoked each day. For instance: one pack/day for 20 years is 20 pack years; two packs/day for 10 years is 20 pack years. This calculator will help you determine your pack years.
  • Are current or former smokers who have quit in the past 15 years.
  • Have no current symptoms of lung cancer such as coughing up blood or sudden weight loss.

Certain symptoms can be suggestive of lung conditions that should be evaluated and treated, if necessary, by a health care provider. These symptoms include fever, chest pain, a new or changing cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, or unexplained weight loss. Having any of these symptoms can affect the results of lung cancer screening and may actually delay potential treatment.


Enrolling in our CT Lung Cancer Screening Program requires a conversation with your primary care provider. Together, you’ll discuss the benefits and risks of enrolling in our program. If you decide to enroll, your primary care provider will then order your baseline screening examination and a patient navigator from our Radiology Department will call you to schedule your examination. From that point on, our patient navigators will proactively navigate you through the program. If you have any questions regarding our program, please contact the CT Lung Cancer Screening Program via email (ctlungcancerscreening@umassmemorial.org).