Lung Cancer Screening: From Making an Appointment to Getting Results
Updated: March 10, 2021
This is the unfortunate truth about lung cancer: It usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it is already advanced and is difficult to treat. That’s a key reason why lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
Through screening, doctors can now find lung cancer before it causes symptoms. The odds of living longer are highest when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage. In fact, if everyone eligible for screening got tested for lung cancer, 12,000 deaths could be prevented every year in the U.S., research shows.
The best test for early detection is a low-dose CT scan. It uses X-rays to create detailed 3-D images of the lungs. If you’re at high risk for lung cancer, yearly testing could reduce your risk of dying from the disease. Find out if you meet the criteria for screening here.
Where you get tested matters. Both the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association caution that testing is only advisable at a facility with expertise in lung cancer screening, such as Fox Chase Cancer Center.
The radiologists at Fox Chase are highly experienced and skilled at interpreting scans. Highly trained eyes help reduce one possible risk of a scan—a false positive test result, indicating that cancer may be present when it isn’t.
How to Make an Appointment
If you’re eligible for lung cancer screening, the next step is to make an appointment. At Fox Chase, we make that process as easy as possible. You can call 888-369-2427 to set up an appointment. Or you can request an appointment online. If you have any questions about scheduling an appointment—or about being screened—you can speak with a nurse who will walk you through the process.
What to Expect During Your Appointment
Screening for lung cancer at Fox Chase is patient-friendly. It emphasizes education and minimizes stressful waiting.
You’ll initially be seen by a nurse practitioner who specializes in lung cancer and its treatments. This nurse will talk to you about the scan so that you thoroughly understand what’s involved.
If you use tobacco, you’ll also be offered free counseling to help you quit through the Tobacco Treatment program at Fox Chase.
The scan itself takes about 15 minutes. And there’s no preparation—all you have to do is lie down. You can keep your regular clothes on too.
Get Same-Day Results
A radiologist at Fox Chase will review the results right away for signs of cancer. And you’ll learn the results before your appointment is over, instead of days later.
You’ll also have the chance to discuss your results with a nurse practitioner. And if the scan shows something that needs more evaluation, the nurse practitioner can schedule the appropriate follow-up test for you.
There’s no waiting for a phone call, with all the anxiety that can trigger. You have the appointment, you get the results, and you can move forward.
Another advantage of being screened at Fox Chase: If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you’ll have immediate access to a whole team of lung cancer experts who, together, will craft a personalized treatment plan for you.
Fox Chase is committed to all aspects of cancer care: prevention, screening and treatment.