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Lung Screening and Lung Cancer Frequently Asked Questions


The Lung Cancer Program at St. John’s offers a team approach to lung cancer care. Check out some of our frequently asked questions and answers below for more information.

Q: How do I know if I qualify for the lung cancer screening program?
A: Find out if you’re a candidate by calling 877.753.6248. You will speak with our oncology nurse navigator, who will take a brief health history over the phone. Based on your history, she will make a recommendation on the type of CT scan you should have – low-dose if you have no symptoms.

Q: What is a low-dose screening CT scan of the chest and what are the associated risks?
A: A low-dose screening computerized tomography scan of the chest, commonly called a CT or CAT scan, produces detailed images of the lungs and other structures located inside your chest. The low-dose scan exposes you to less radiation than you would receive from a normal CT scan of the chest.

Q: What happens during the CT scan?
A: The CT scan will take about 15 minutes. You will be asked to lay on your back with your arms over your head. You will hold your breath.

Q: Will the CT scan hurt?
A: You will not need any injections, and the CT scan will not hurt.

Q: What is the cost to me?
A: Our oncology nurse navigator will arrange a CT scan based on your insurance. Most insurance companies will pay for the CT scan. You will know prior to the scan if your insurance will pay. If not, we offer a low-cost cash pay option. Learn more by calling 877.753.6248.

Q: What if I have an abnormal finding?
A: At St. John’s, each abnormal CT scan is reviewed by a dedicated multi-disciplinary team of physicians who specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of lung cancer. After review, our physicians will discuss the results with you and your primary care doctor, and will discuss options for further evaluation and treatment if necessary.

Q: What if something other than cancer is found on a low-dose screening CT scan of the chest?
A: CT scans may detect other findings that may help you and your doctor, such as infections or emphysema. This will also be reported to your doctor.

Q: What can I do to reduce my risk of cancer?
A: The most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer is to stop smoking or to never start smoking in the first place. Following a healthy diet, regular check-ups and getting adequate exercise is also very important.

Q: Where can I get help with quitting smoking?
A: Free smoking cessation classes and support groups are held on a monthly basis at St. John’s Hospitals and at other locations throughout Ventura County. Free over-the-phone counseling is also available to people unable to attend classes. If you need help with quitting smoking, please call 805.652.3337 for counseling and a free smoking cessation plan. Every patient referred for a lung cancer screening CT scan will also receive a referral to the free smoking cessation program.

Find out if you’re a candidate for St. John’s lung cancer screening program today by calling 877.753.6248.