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Lung Cancer

How Often Should I Test for Lung Cancer?



I recently had a CT scan after an xray show a shadow. The CT scan showed no nodules or cancer; however, it showed moderate emphasyma. I was a 30 year/1 pack a day smoker who has recently quit. I am 46 years old, and my father died of lung cancer when he was 75. My question is, how long does it take for lung cancer to develop? If my test showed no tumors now, and I wanted to be proactive in catching lung cancer early, when should I be tested again? Should I get tested with an xray or CT scan?


Chest CT annually has been recently shown to decrease lung cancer mortality.  CXR is not helpful. Screening with CT may eventually become standard, however, it is not currently covered by insurance.

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Response by:

Sandra L Starnes, MD Sandra L Starnes, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati