Lung cancer screening: all your questions answered

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Each year more men and women die from lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Surviving lung cancer depends heavily on when it is diagnosed.  Dr. Tom Gribbin, Medical Director at the Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center, was here to discuss a screening that can help detect lung cancer in earlier stages.

What is CT Lung screening?

CT Lung screening is a low-dose CT of the chest. There are no needles, no IV and no medication involved. A patient holds their breath for 10 seconds and the scan is over.  After the screening the results are interpreted and review by a radiologist and recommendation are made to the patient depending on those results

What are the advantages of CT Lung Screening?

Screenings can find lung cancers at an early stage when the chances for treatment success are much better.  Before, there was not an effective way to screen for lung cancer, over the years, chest x-rays were done, but were not finding lung cancer at an early enough stage. The Mercy Health Lung Cancer screening program was introduced in May of 2013, since that time we have scanned over 1000 people and of those people have found 27 with lung cancer.

In addition to the screening potentially catching lung cancer in early stages, it is also a great way to provide patients with information on how to stop smoking.

Who is eligible for the screening?

Mercy Health follows the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s definition of individuals who are high- risk for lung cancer. This definition includes:

  • Ages 55-77
  • Current smokers or former smokers who quit in the past 15 years
  • A smoking history of at least 30-pack years (defined as someone who smoked a pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years).

For more information about CT Lung screening, visit or call 888-675-2376 Tom Gribbin, MD, Medical Director, Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center.

Who is eligible for the screening?

  • Ages 55 to 77
  • Current smoker or former smoker who has quit in the past 15 years
  • Smoking history of at least 30-pack years. The American Cancer Society defines 30-pack years as:
    • One pack a day for 30 years
    • Two packs a day for 15 year

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