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Lung Cancer Screening

CHI Health offers cancer screenings for patients who have had an abnormal chest scan or suspicious lesion, and for those who have been previously diagnosed with lung cancer and require routine observation. The screening is performed using low dose computed tomography (LDCT), which uses a small dose of radiation to produce numerous X-ray like pictures to create a high-definition image of the lung. This procedure is simple and non-invasive.

Lung Screening Eligibility

  • Must be between the ages of 50 - 80
  • Must be a current or former heavy smoker (20 pack-year history of smoking).
  • Must have commercial insurance, Medicare or a Medicaid Expansion plan
  • No chest CT scan in the last 12 months
  • No change in cough, shortness of breath or blood stained mucus

If you are at high risk, please call your primary care doctor for a referral. 

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

CHI Health utilizes two state-of-the-art technologies to detect and diagnose lung cancer and non-cancer lung conditions:

  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) allows for viewing and biopsying the regions of the lungs and mediastinum that have traditionally required more invasive surgical procedures to evaluate. This tool is specifically designed for evaluating and biopsying central lymph nodes and lesions near the airway within the lungs.
  • Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) is a minimally-invasive technique --video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery -- that is used to diagnose and treat lung (and other chest) problems. VATS is performed with a small video scope and special instruments to minimize trauma. Three small (about one-inch) incisions are made, compared to the long six- to eight-inch incision made during the traditional surgery. The scope transmits images of the operative area onto a computer monitor for the surgeon to see.

Minimally Invasive Lung Biopsy

At CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center - Bergan Mercy and CHI Health St. Elizabeth, robot-assisted navigational bronchoscopy is offered when a biopsy is needed after the screening. This minimally invasive procedure makes it possible to obtain a biopsy from all parts of the lung - even reaching the far outer lung. Using an ultra-thin catheter, vision probe and shape-sensing technology, this special system allows for precise navigation and placement of the biopsy needle for collecting a tissue sample.

Previously, lung cancer wasn't often detectable until stage 3 or 4. With this new technology, obtaining tissue samples of a lung nodule is easier, making it more likely to diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage, offering the best chance for recovery.

Patients can now receive a definitive diagnosis after one procedure (instead of two or more) as the physician can perform biopsy and staging at the same time. This also greatly reduces the time from biopsy to treatment.

Lung Cancer Treatment

If a lung cancer diagnosis is made, after disease stage is determined, each patient's condition is presented at a weekly multidisciplinary conference where medical and radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, and pulmonologists discuss the most advanced individual treatment options for the patient. Thereafter, the Lung Center will work in collaboration with the patients’ primary care provider and oncologist to coordinate and determine the best plan of care.

Know Your Lung Cancer Risk

Take our comprehensive Lung Cancer Risk Assessment to help you identify if you are at risk for developing lung cancer. You will receive a personalized report about your level of risk, and opportunities get help from our experts.

MD Save

Save up to 60% on Low Dose CT Lung Screening and other imaging procedures with CHI Health through MD Save!