University of California San Francisco | About UCSF | UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco
Search Site | Find a Doctor

Lung Cancer Screening Program

The Lung Cancer Screening Program offers the latest low-dose computed tomography (CT) technology to detect lung cancer as early as possible in current or former smokers. Lung cancer screening can prolong life by detecting disease early, when it is potentially more treatable. A research project, called the National Lung Screening Trial*, showed a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer-related deaths in smokers screened annually with low-dose CT scan, compared to screening with standard chest X-rays.

Patients benefit from new low-dose scanning protocols and advanced scanning software that greatly reduces their exposure to radiation. Each patient’s chest CT scans are analyzed by a thoracic radiologist specializing in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. Thoracic surgery, pulmonary medicine, oncology and radiology experts work together to develop optimized treatment plans.

Candidates for Screening

Patients eligible for lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan must meet the following criteria:

  • Are between 50-74 years old, and
  • Are either currently smoking or have quit smoking within the past 15 years


  • Are between 50-74 years old, and
  • Have one or more of the following risk factors:
    • Been exposed to radon, silica, cadmium, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes or nickel, or
    • A personal history of cancer, or
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, or
    • A family history of lung cancer

It is important to note that if you have any of the following symptoms, you should be evaluated by your primary care physician before scheduling an appointment at the Lung Cancer Screening Program: unexplained weight loss, chest pain, persistent cough or a cough that produces blood.

Your Appointment

A visit to the Lung Cancer Screening Program includes a CT scan and separate consultation with a pulmonologist, scheduled on the same day at UCSF Medical Center for your convenience.

Please call (415) 514-8787 to schedule an appointment or for more information. If you need to reschedule your appointment, please call Pulmonology at (415) 353-2961.

Health Insurance

This service is not covered by most insurance. To make this service accessible to as many patients as possible, a visit including a low-dose CT scan and consultation with a pulmonologist is offered at a discounted self-pay price.

* See more on the National Lung Screening Trial in the Aug. 4, 2011 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The UCSF Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit organization that promotes the welfare of the University of California, San Francisco, including UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

How to Reach Us

Schedule an Appointment
Phone (415) 514-8787

Your CT scan will be performed at:
UCSF Radiology
2330 Post St., Room 100
San Francisco, CA 94115

Phone (415) 885-7282

You'll see a pulmonologist at:
Thoracic Surgery and Oncology
1600 Divisadero St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115

Phone (415) 885-3882