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Low-Dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. with about 175,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Nearly 163,000 men and women will die from it each year. However, there are more options for successful treatment when lung cancer is diagnosed in the early stages before the disease has spread beyond the lung. CT scans have been used for this purpose for decades, but technology has now revolutionized diagnostic imaging with the creation of the 64-slice scanner. An upgrade from the traditional 32-slice, the 64-slice scanner allows for increased speed and improved fine detail resolution.

With the 64-slice Siemens Somatom Sensation, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast can now offer patients spiral CT lung screenings with computer-aided detection (CAD). A scan with such precise capability and quickness can help doctors visualize small tumors with extreme accuracy and detail. With a low-radiation dose, CT can detect lung nodules as small as 3 mm. When comparing CT scans to standard chest X-rays, researchers found significant advantages for the patient:
  • Non-calcified nodules were three times more likely to show up
  • Cancerous tumors were four times more likely to be detected
  • Stage I cancers were six times more likely to be detected
CT lung screenings use an X-ray generating device that rotates around your body and a very powerful computer to create cross-sectional images of the inside of your lungs. The scan helps find cancerous nodules early, often before cancer has spread beyond the lung.

Who can benefit from a lung scan?

2013 American College of Chest Physicians Guidelines on Screening for Lung Cancer and National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) suggest that patients meeting the following criteria may benefit from a screening:
  • Smokers and former smokers age 55-74 who are 30 pack-years or more (number of cigarette packs smoked per day multiplied by number of years smoked) and who continue to smoke or have quit within the last 15 years.
  • Occupational exposure/Environmental exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Family history of lung cancer

Benefits of using the Seimen Somatom Sensation

  • Low dose of radiation
  • Produces images with clarity and detail
  • Ability to detect soft plaques with routine CT exams
  • Offers unprecedented clarity

Preparing for your CT Lung Screening

No preparation is required. There is no injection of dye involved. After a brief medical history is taken, you will be positioned by a radiology technologist on the CT table. It is possible that your scan could be delayed for medical emergencies.

During the Exam

During the scan, you will be lying on a comfortable table that slowly moves through the wide "donut-like" opening of the CT scanner. The radiology technician may speak with you over the intercom to ask you to briefly hold your breath or not to move certain regions of your body. As with conventional X-rays, you will not feel anything as the images are taken. You will only hear a low buzzing noise. The table will move slightly during the entire examination. You will be asked to hold your breath for about 20 seconds.

Nurse Navigator

The role of the nurse navigator for the Low Dose CT Program is to answer any questions a patient may have about the test in general. The nurse navigator is available to the patient, their families and referring physicians who may have concerns prior to or after a screening. Should further tests be recommended, the nurse navigator is here to help you schedule future appointments. If you have any questions, please contact the nurse navigator at 850-278-3063.


You need a physician referral to schedule a CT lung screening. If you do not have a physician or you need a requisition for the scan, we can help refer you to a doctor by calling our scheduling line at 1-866-591-3660.


Payment of $99 is required at the time of service - cash, check or credit card accepted. Insurance companies do not currently cover the cost of CT lung screening. If you are interested in Low Dose CT Screening please contact your primary care physician for a referral.

To Schedule A Lung CT

Once you receive a referral from your physician for the CT lung screening, please call 1-866-591-3600 to schedule the screening.


Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Pregnant women should not have this test.

Screening Results

The CT lung screening will be reviewed by a radiologist at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. The results will be sent to your referring physician to discuss with you. If additional tests are needed, the nurse navigator will work with your referring physician to coordinate the next steps in a timely manner.

Sacred Heart Cancer Center

Sacred Heart's comprehensive cancer program is designed to provide our patients with the highest standard of cancer care and the most advanced technologies available to fight cancer. New surgical techniques, radiation technologies, chemotherapies and advanced diagnostic capabilities are available to our cancer patients.

Please call 1-866-591-3600 for information

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Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast | 7800 U.S. Hwy. 98 West; Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | Tel (850) 278-3000 | Toll Free 1-866-591-3600
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