Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the primary cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States. The National Lung Screening Trial has shown that screening current or former heavy smokers with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) decreases their risk of dying from lung cancer. Your doctor may refer you for screening, or you may refer yourself by calling 843-606-1536.

Is lung cancer screening right for me?

physician with patient

If you have all three of these risk factors, you should consider being screened:

  • 55 to 77 years old and;
  • Have a 30 pack-year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.) and;
  • Are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.

Not everyone who meets the initial criteria will be eligible for screening. Our team will help guide you as to whether screening can benefit you or not.

Lung Cancer Screening Brochure (PDF)

How is screening done?

physicians looking at scans
  • We screen for lung cancer using a LDCT scan, which gives a detailed picture of your lungs.
  • You will go to the MUSC Health Radiology (X-ray) department for your LDCT scan. You will lie on a table and raise your arms above your head. Then the table will slide into the scanner. We will ask you to hold your breath for about 20 seconds during the scan.
  • You can choose from three different MUSC Health Radiology locations for your LDCT scan - downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant or North Charleston.
  • Based on current research, screening should be done once a year for as long as you meet the screening criteria.

How do I schedule a screening?


Your doctor may refer you for screening, or you may refer yourself by calling 843-606-1536.

The MUSC Health Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator will walk you through the evaluation process, which includes smoking cessation counseling if you are still smoking. We may also be able to direct you to clinical trials that are appropriate for your concerns or your condition.

Screening Treatment Team

Back to top Back to top