Lung Cancer Screening

Early detection can save lives.

Southern New Hampshire Medical Center has been designated as a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology, offering Low Dose CT(LDCT) lung screening.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States. Of the top four deadliest cancers (lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal) it is the only one that is not subject to routine screening, however lung cancer can be cured if detected early.

Studies have shown that LDCT lung screenings can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20% for people who are high risk. Without LDCT lung screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms. At that time, the cancer is much harder to treat.

About low dose CT Lung Screening:

LDCT lung screening is quick and easy and results in a minimal amount of radiation exposure. The screening involves a CT scan of the lungs using low-radiation technology.

Who is Eligible for Screening?

You may qualify for screening if you:

  • Are between the ages of 55 to 77
  • Are currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30+ years or 2 packs a day for 15 years

Your Primary Care Provider will verify your eligibility and order your screening exam.

What to expect during your screening:

Lung Cancer Screening involves a CT scan of the lungs using low-radiation technology. The amount of radiation you are exposed to is minimal, significantly less than a conventional chest CT.

  • The exam is painless and takes less than 5 minutes.
  • No medications are given and no needles are used.
  • You can eat before and after the exam. The only requirement is you need to be able to hold your breath for at least 6 seconds during the exam.
  • About 25% of lung screening exams will find something in the lungs that may require additional evaluation.
    • Lung nodules are very small collections of tissue in the lungs and are very common. 97% of nodules found are not cancer. Further testing or referral to a specialist may be needed to determine if a nodule is cancer. You should check with your insurance provider to determine coverage for this additional testing.
  • Lung cancer screening should be performed annually provided you continue to meet the screening criteria.

Smoking Cessation

Not smoking is the most effective way to prevent Lung Cancer. Please talk with your provider about smoking cessation and available support programs. Additional resources are available online at,, and