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Screening & Detection for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer usually develops and spreads for years without causing symptoms, making it difficult to detect at an early stage.

Lung cancer symptoms

  • Persistent cough
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sputum (spit or phlegm) streaked with blood
  • Recurring bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Chest pain

Who Should be Screened?

Benefits related to lung cancer screening have been clearly proven for the following individuals:

  • Adults between the ages of 50 and 80*
  • A 20 pack-year smoking history
  • A current smoker or someone who has quit smoking within the last 15 years
  • Individuals who are asymptomatic (no signs/symptoms of lung cancer)
  • Patients should be in good enough health to withstand and recover from surgery and oncology treatment 

*Medicare coverage up to age 77

Information for referring providers:

New patients are welcome with a referral from a physician, physician assistant, or an advanced practice nurse. A referral is required for a patient to be scheduled for a lung cancer screening. If patients call our office, they will be instructed to ask their provider to submit a referral. Referrals can be made through Epic.

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Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center

Thoracic Cancer Program


Lung Cancer Screening
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Rita Appel

Breathing Easier

Rita Appel, 68, of Westport never expected that an annual checkup with her primary care physician would lead to a visit with a pulmonologist and a diagnosis of lung cancer – nearly 40 years after quitting smoking.