Patients who meet the following criteria are eligible for an annual low-dose CT scan (LDCT) to screen for lung cancer:
- Age 55 to 77 years old
- A 30 "pack year" or greater history of smoking (a "pack year" is calculated from multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years a person has smoked)
- Either currently smoke or have quit in the past 15 years
- No symptoms of lung cancer such as cough, shortness of breath or chest pain
- Able and willing to tolerate treatment if lung cancer is discovered
These criteria are recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force based on the findings of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), a large scientific study in which LDCT resulted in 20% fewer lung cancer deaths compared to screening with a standard chest X-ray.
This exam is available on our main campus in Boston and at our locations in Waltham, Chelsea and Danvers.
Currently, most insurance providers do not cover LDCT to screen for lung cancer. As always, you should contact your insurance provider to understand your particular coverage.
Learn about eligibility for lung cancer screening at Mass General.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Mass General #1 in New England and #2 in the nation based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in 16 clinical specialties.