Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers for mid-Missourians. It is most treatable in early stages, and a yearly screening is one of the best ways to detect lung cancer early. At University of Missouri Health Care’s Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, our doctors and staff have a lung cancer screening program for eligible patients. We work with you to ensure you have access to the most advanced care and screening options.

What is lung cancer screening?

Patients who meet national screening guidelines for lung cancer screening can expect the appointment to take 30 minutes. The scan itself takes 10 minutes in which a patient will change into a gown and lay down on a table. Low-dose computed tomography, or a low-dose CT scan, takes pictures of the inside of a patient’s body from different angles. This procedure is safe.

The scans are then reviewed by a doctor to see if any visible nodules, or lump, can be seen within the lung cavity. Our clinic staff will send results to the patients and work with them to schedule their next yearly appointment.

If a scan reading is abnormal, our nurse navigator will call the patient for a follow-up appointment. As part of an academic health system, our doctors and staff from multiple specialties are able to provide the safest, personalized treatments for you. We’re here to help you from screening to treatment to survivorship.

Who is eligible?

Because smoking is the top cause of lung cancer, evidence-based screening recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends current and former heavy smokers be screened. Men and women are eligible for lung cancer screening if they meet the following criteria:

  • Age 55-80 who have smoked in the last 15 years or currently smoke AND
  • Have a 30 pack-year smoking history (meaning having smoked at least one pack per day for 30 years OR two packs a day for 15 years)

If you meet these criteria, call our screening clinic today at 573-884-7770 to schedule your appointment. You can also ask any of your doctors to refer you to our clinic with a faxed referral. Our fax is 573-884-3853.

Lung cancer screening eligibility

What causes lung cancer?

Smoking is the top risk factor for lung cancer. Over 80 percent of lung cancer cases can be attributed to smoking. If you or a family member is interested in quitting, Ellis Fischel offers free tobacco-cessation classes.

Other risk factors for lung cancer include a family history of lung cancer or other cancers, contact with radon, asbestos or other cancer-causing agents, or a health history that includes pulmonary fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).