Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Program

When it comes to lung cancer, the earlier the detection, the better the prognosis. Studies have shown that patients at increased risk who were screened with low dose CT (LDCT) rather than a chest X-ray, had 20 percent fewer deaths from lung cancer. Brigham and Women's Imaging screens high-risk patients for lung cancer screening at multiple locations using low-dose CT.

”The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking, but you don't have to stop smoking to be screened[.]” —Francine Jacobson MD, MPH

Contact Information

Medical Director: Suzanne C. Byrne, MD


Phone: (617) 525-3515

Scheduling: (617) 732-6248

Fax: (978) 352-9015

Lung cancer is a very serious health concern caused in large part, but not entirely, by smoking. Francine L. Jacobson, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, advises patients to stop smoking to decrease their risk of developing lung cancer. Even if you've stopped smoking, you may be at increased risk of developing lung cancer. If you're 50 to 80 years old, the risk is high enough to warrant screening every year. Dr. Jacobson notes that one life is saved for every 320 lung cancer screenings.

About the Procedure

The screening CT scan is a very quick and painless procedure. It usually takes 15 minutes or less to complete and requires no needle stick or special preparation. It’s best to wear loose, comfortable clothes with no metal like zippers or underwire bras. You may eat before and after the exam.

The test itself is performed in less than a minute. You will be asked to hold your breath briefly.

What happens during a lung screening exam?

Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility

At Brigham and Women's Hospital, we offer lung cancer screening using low-dose CT to individuals who meet high-risk criteria (patients who do not meet these risk criteria may still be eligible for a scan under a self-pay option).

Patients between the ages of 50 and 80 who have at least a 20 pack-year history of smoking, and who have not been ex-smokers for greater than 15 years.

lung cancer screening eligibility

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