Lung Cancer Screening

Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening

  • Proven to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer if you are high risk.
  • Screening often detects lung cancer at an earlier, more treatable, stage of disease.
  • When found early, you can often undergo less invasive surgery with less lung tissue needing removal.
  • CT is painless, noninvasive and fast, which is important if you struggle holding your breath.

Smokers: Are You Worried About Lung Cancer?

Many patients with lung cancer do not have any symptoms when the cancer first starts. If you are concerned about the possibility that your years of cigarette smoking may have led to lung cancer, it is best to find it early before symptoms start, when the cancer is more easily treated. About 9 out of every 10 people with lung cancer die from the disease because it is found after it has spread. This is why Lung Cancer Screening is important.

Because Lung Cancer Screening has been proven to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer in high risk patients, Medical Imaging at Pella Regional has become the only designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology in the region.

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer happens when abnormal cells form in your lungs and grow out of control. These cells can form a tumor and can spread to other parts of your body. It is often diagnosed once it has spread outside the lungs.

What is a Lung Cancer Screening?

We know that you want to find lung cancer early when it is easier to treat and more likely to be cured. Studies have shown that this screening helps those at high risk find abnormalities before symptoms appear. Screening involves a computed tomography (CT) scan which can identify small nodules or other abnormalities in your lungs. You will lie on a table and the CT uses a low dose of radiation to make detailed images of your lungs. The scan only takes a few minutes and is not painful.

Am I Eligible?

You are at the highest risk for lung cancer and should be screened if you:

  • Are between the ages of 55-80 who currently smoke or who quit within last 15 years.
  • Have a smoking history of 30 years or more (an average of one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.).


If you meet the criteria there is no out-of-pocket expense for the lung cancer screening—no deductible, no co-pay and no co-insurance. If you are concerned about the financial part of the screening, Patient Advocates are available to walk through the process with you.

Dr. Smith's quote on why early detection of lung cancer is key.

Radiation Exposure

While you will be exposed to low levels of radiation during the test, the level is so small that it is about the same amount of radiation from six months in the natural environment.

Risks of Lung Cancer Screening

  • Abnormal findings may require additional testing to determine whether cancer is present or not. This additional testing may have additional cost and cause patient anxiety.
  • Normal test results can happen even when lung cancer is present-false negative results. This may delay patient from seeking treatment.
  • When screening is done later in the disease process, the benefits of living longer and improvement of health become unlikely.

What Happens if the Screening Shows Cancer?

If an abnormality is found, you will be scheduled for a follow up appointment with Gerard Matysik, DO, board-certified pulmonologist at Pella Regional to determine next steps in treatment. In the event there is a cancer diagnosis, Pella Regional’s team of board-certified team of oncologists, infusion nurses and primary care physicians are available to provide for your optimal care with minimum travel.

Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator

Making things as easy and stress-free as possible with your Lung Cancer Screening is our goal at Pella Regional. In fact, once you’ve contacted Pella Regional, our Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator gets the process moving for you. You will be contacted for additional information and to discuss details of the screening and possible eligibility. The coordinator is a constant presence for you and your family throughout the process in order to:

  • Expedite the initial shared decision making appointment to determine possible eligibility with Dr. Gerard Matysik, board-certified pulmonologist or your primary care provider.
  • Coordinate the screening appointment with medical imaging.
  • Coordinate any follow up appointments needed in case of an abnormal result.

 Not sure if you're eligible? Find out now:


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