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Lung Cancer Screening Services

Lung cancer, the leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths, is best treated when detected early, well before symptoms appear.

UC Irvine Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center now offers special lung cancer screening for those at high risk for developing the disease, including smokers and people exposed to asbestos and other cancer-causing substances. This state-of-the-art test, called low-dose spiral computed tomography (LDCT), is a simple, painless exam that takes only seconds.

Same-day results

We provide expert screening, with results interpreted immediately by a radiologist, followed by a consultation with one of our highly trained lung experts who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer — all on the same day.

Our goal at Orange County's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center is to diagnose lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage in people at greatest risk for developing the disease.

To learn if you or a loved one are eligible for our lung screening test, please call 855-UCI-LUNG (855-824-5864).

Our UC Irvine Health Lung Cancer Screening Program is recommended for:

  • People between the ages of 55 and 74 who have smoked an average of one or more packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years*. This includes current smokers and those who have quit within the last 15 years.
  • People between the ages of 50 to 74 who currently or previously smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years*, and have at least one additional risk factor for lung cancer.

Additional risk factors include:

  • A previous cancer diagnosis
  • Emphysema
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • A family history of lung cancer
  • Exposure to radon or other substances, including asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, diesel fumes, nickel, silica and uranium

Your primary care provider or our lung specialists can help you determine if you have one of these risk factors. Call us at 855-UCI-LUNG (855-824-5864).

* Note: A person's smoking history is determined by their number of "pack years," which is the average number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked. For example, a person who smoked half-a-pack per day for 20 years has smoked for 10 pack years. A person who smoked 1.5 packs per day for 20 years has smoked for 30 pack years.

Early detection

Lung cancer is often not discovered until a mass is large enough to cause symptoms, when treatments are usually less effective. Traditional X-rays can detect tumors the size of a small coin.

Low dose spiral computed tomography (LDCT) scans also use X-rays, but at lower doses than a regular CT scan, and without the need for dyes or injections. The machine's spiral scanning motion produces high resolution, three-dimensional images that can reveal a lung abnormality the size of a grain of rice.

With early detection, our UC Irvine Health team of lung cancer experts can provide the most innovative treatments that are targeted to each person's unique molecular tumor markers.

LDCT screening

An eight-year National Cancer Institute (NCI) study of more than 50,000 current and former heavy smokers showed that LDCT scans reduced the mortality rate of lung cancer by 20 percent.

Given that more than 150,000 men and women die each year from lung cancer, the study led the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to recommend annual LDCT screening for people at high risk for the disease.

Experience counts

The American Cancer Society recommends that LDCT lung cancer screening be performed by experienced specialists at a facility that can provide appropriate care and follow-up.

Our pulmonologists, radiologists and other specialists at UC Irvine Medical Center — Orange County's only university medical center — have access to the most innovative technology, diagnostic methods and advanced treatments to give you high quality, personalized care.

When you come to Orange County's only university medical center for lung screening, you are seen first by our interventional pulmonology team members, who review your history and risk factors for lung cancer.

Patients who meet the study criteria undergo a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) chest scan, which is conducted by our experienced chest radiology team. The scan, itself, takes only seconds. The results are reviewed immediately by our radiology and  interventional pulmonology teams.

Early diagnosis

The pulmonology team then reviews the scan results with you and your loved ones. If the LDCT scan is negative, our pulmonologist will discuss whether annual follow-up scans should be scheduled.

If a scan reveals any abnormalities, our pulmonologists thoroughly review the data with you and discuss further diagnostic testing and treatment options.

Our goal is to provide early and accurate diagnosis of lung cancer and to deliver carefully considered treatment to you, taking into account your individual situation and the best therapy for your particular case.

Our Lung Cancer Screening Program is run by a multidisciplinary team of lung cancer and thoracic oncology specialists at Orange County's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.

Our team also includes expert interventional radiologists, pathologists, respiratory therapists, physiatrists, nurse specialists and other medical professionals to deliver high quality care tailored to your individual needs.

Our core team includes:

Interventional Pulmonology

Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

Thoracic Medical Oncology

Thoracic Surgery

Radiation Oncology

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