Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States.

If you are at risk for developing lung cancer, turn to Frye Regional’s lung screening program for an individualized care plan to help protect your health.

Low-dose CT scans find a disease early, when treatment may work better. If you are a current or former smoker, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of a lung screening.

Risk Factors For Lung Cancer

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Contact with radon, asbestos or other cancer-causing agents
  • A personal history of smoking-related cancer
  • A family history of lung cancer
  • Certain chronic lung diseases

Benefits Of Screening

• When cancer is found with screening, patients can more often undergo minimally invasive surgery and have less lung tissue removed.
• Lung cancer found by screening with LDCT is often at an earlier stage of disease.
• CT scanning is painless and noninvasive.
• No radiation remains in a patient’s body after a CT examination.

Who Should Consider Lung Cancer Screening - And Why?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and worldwide.

Lung cancer is cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. When detected early – before spreading to other areas of the body – it is more successfully treated.

What Is A Lung Cancer Screening?

Screening examinations are tests performed to find disease before symptoms begin. The goal is to detect disease at its earliest and most treatable stage. An individual’s need for a specific screening test are based on factors such as age, gender and family history.

CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple, cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) produces images of sufficient quality to detect many lung diseases and abnormalities using up to 90% less ionizing radiation than a conventional chest CT scan.

Who should be screened for lung cancer?

Individuals at high risk of developing lung cancer who might consider LDCT screening should meet the following criteria:

• Age 55 to 77
• Currently smokes cigarettes
• Former smoker who quit within the last 15 years
• History of cigarette smoking at least 30 pack years


To determine whether you are a candidate for lung cancer screening, you should see your doctor, who will review your medical history and advise you on the benefits, limitations and potential risks of the test.

Risks include the possibility of exposure to low dose radiation and the detection and treatment of cancer which may never have harmed you. This can result in unnecessary treatment, complications and cost.

To translate your smoking history into ‘pack years,’ simply multiply the number of cigarette packs you have smoked per day by the number of years you have smoked. Find your pack year history below.

Assess Your Smoking History

What is a “pack year history?”

A pack year is a measure of how many cigarettes a person has smoked over a long period of time.
To determine your pack year history, simply calculate:
___ number of packs per day X ___ number of years
smoking = ___ pack year history
If you have smoked less than a pack a day for a long period of time, you can calculate your pack history this way:
___ number of cigarettes per day X ___ number of years smoking/20 =___ pack year history

What Happens If Something Is Detected On My Screening Exam?

Lung cancer typically occurs in the form of a lung nodule, an area of abnormal tissue within the lung. Greater than 95% of these nodules do not represent cancer, but represent areas of scarring from prior infection or small lymph nodes. If your LDCT scan detects a nodule, your physician will likely recommend a follow-up LDCT scan several months later to check that the nodule does not change in size.

In the event the nodule grows or is suspicious, your doctor may recommend further evaluation with an advanced imaging study (PET scan) and/or removal of a small piece of the nodule (biopsy). If the nodule is cancerous, additional blood and imaging tests may be recommended to determine the state of the tumor. The treatment options and expected results of treatment depend on the stage of the tumor.

Contact Frye Regional Medical Center

Frye Regional’s qualified, compassionate cancer team at the Frye Cancer Support Center is available to provide holistic, supportive, quality care to meet your needs and provide resources.

A physician order and physician visit are required for insurance coverage.

For more information, call 828.315.3596.

To make an appointment, call 828.315.5951.

Find Us


Frye Cancer Support Center
328 N Center St
Hickory, NC 28601
Phone: 828.315.3596

Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday