Lung Cancer Screening Available at JCHC

Patient enters CT machine for lung screening procedure

It is estimated that nearly 250,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year in the United States alone. It is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, making up almost 25% of cancer deaths.1

For individuals with high risk factors, early screening is one of the most reliable ways to detect lung cancer prior to developing symptoms. Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) offers low-dose CT lung screening, a non-invasive imaging solution to test for lung cancer.

All of the following must be true in order to qualify for low-dose lung screening:

  • Age 55-77
  • Current or former smoker (quit in the last 15 years)
  • Have 30+ tobacco pack years*
  • Not currently diagnosed with or being treated for lung cancer

If you are interested in performing an early screening, talk to your primary care provider. They can discuss your eligibility, and the benefits and potential risks of testing. The test itself takes less than a minute and features a much lower dose of radiation than a typical CT.

Screening is recommended annually until you are no longer eligible according to the guidelines above. Eligible candidates who screened for lung cancer using this technique are 20% less likely to die from lung cancer, according to a recent study.2 

Should an abnormal nodule be detected in the screening, your primary care provider may recommend additional scans or other tests to confirm a diagnosis. If you want to learn more about this new service and how it may benefit you, contact your provider.

Though tools like low-dose CT can help detect early cases of lung cancer, prevention efforts and lifestyle changes are still the best way to avoid the disease entirely. Quitting smoking, abstaining from smoking, and limiting your exposure to secondhand smoke will greatly decrease your odds of developing lung cancer.3 Other preventative measures include avoiding exposure to carcinogens, such as asbestos, arsenic, and radon, and eating a healthy diet with many fruits and vegetables.4

To schedule an appointment with a primary care provider, contact JCHC Clinics at 641-472-4156.


1. American Cancer Society
2. Should I Screen
3. American Cancer Society
4. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

*A tobacco pack year is the number of years actively smoking multiplied by the number of packs smoked per day. For example, an individual who smoked two packs per day for 15 years (2 packs x 15 years) would be the same number of tobacco pack years as an individual who smoked a pack per day for 30 years (1 pack x 30 years).