Screening CT scan of the lungs

Screening lung CT is an examination that is used to detect lung cancer at a very early stage, when the chances of cure are strongest. 


Why can my doctor order this type of examination?

This test is recommended for people 50 years of age or older who are apparently healthy, but who are at high risk for this type of cancer.

This includes people who:

- have smoked for a long time or have smoked for a long time, but have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer;
- have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- have a family history of lung cancer;
- have been exposed to asbestos at work.

During this examination, a machine called a low-dose axial CT scanner produces detailed images of the lungs. This allows the size and location of even very small abnormalities or nodules on the lungs to be identified. A radiologist reviews these images and sends a full report to the treating physician.

The procedure of the exam

This examination is non-invasive, quick and painless. Here is the procedure, we will ask you:

Remove any metal objects, such as jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids or dentures, as well as not to wear underwire bras or clothing with metal buttons. You may be asked to put on a hospital gown

Lie comfortably on the table and remain still. The table will slide into the CT scanner

Hold your breath for a few seconds while the examination is performed

Speakers built into the CT scanner will allow you to communicate with the technologist during the exam, if needed. In addition, a glass window allows the technologist to see you at all times.

During the examination, the machine makes clicking and whirring noises during image acquisition; this does not cause any discomfort. The room may be a little cool to ensure optimal performance of the CT scanner.

Be aware that the total duration of your visit will be approximately 30 minutes, even though the examination itself will only last a few minutes.

A medial order is required to perform this examination. If you have a prescription for an ultrasound that is not listed, please contact us

Preparing for the exam

Before you schedule a screening chest CT, let your doctor know if you have an airway infection, which may appear as an abnormality on the CT scan. If you do, or if you have recently recovered from such an infection, it may be advisable to delay your screening.

If confined spaces cause you a lot of anxiety or nervousness, you may be able to take painkillers, which you should obtain before the exam. If you are nervous or anxious, make sure someone accompanies you, as you will not be able to drive that day. Otherwise, there are no restrictions after the exam; you can resume your normal activities.

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