Lung Cancer Screening Program

Low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) Lung Cancer Screening

The Lung Cancer Screening Program offers the earliest detection options for current smokers or those who quit within the last 15 years.

Screening can detect early lung cancer in at-risk patients, when the disease is potentially more treatable and when you can take advantage of the most comprehensive treatment options. It has been shown to reduce lung cancer deaths by as much as 20 percent, according to the National Lung Screening Trial.

UCSF is a pioneer in the field of screening, employing low-dose protocols to greatly reduce radiation exposure in a quick and painless procedure.

Patients benefit from new low-dose scanning protocols and advanced scanning software that greatly reduces their exposure to radiation. A thoracic radiologist specializing in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment analyzes each patient's chest CT scans. 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 55 to 77 years old, and
  • Are either currently smoking or have quit smoking within the past 15 years

Your Appointment

The CT lung cancer screening is a completely painless procedure, with no physical preparations needed.

You will start by checking in with the front desk and filling out standard paperwork.

A technologist will then take you to a dressing room/waiting area in the back. If your clothing contains metal, you may be asked to wear a gown.

The tech will then take you to the CT scanner, where he or she will position you with arms overhead. The table will move slowly in and out of the scanner opening as it captures images.

During this process, the machine will alert you to either hold your breath for a four- to eight-second period or breathe normally. This is a short procedure.

Please contact your referring physician to discuss your results.

Health Insurance

Our billing and insurance team looks forward to answering your questions. Please contact them at 415-514-8888, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Related Information

How to Reach Us

Schedule an Appointment

All orders start with a referral faxed to 415-353-7299. Once your doctor has sent the fax to UCSF, please follow up with a phone call to schedule your appointment at 415-353-2573. Either the patient or the provider may schedule the appointment.