Emerson Hospital Now Offers Low-Dose CT Lung Screening to Help Diagnose Lung Cancer


Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the world. Early detection is associated with better patient outcomes. Most often people with early lung cancer have few or no symptoms so finding lung cancer early is critical in saving lives. Emerson Hospital is now offering low-dose CT screening (LDCT) to those who are eligible to help identify lung cancer using the minimum amount of radiation.

Medicare and many private insurers now cover the cost of an annual LDCT for those who meet all of the following criteria*:
• Are between the ages of 50-77 years old and currently smoke or quit within the last 15 years
• Have no symptoms of lung cancer
• Smoked the equivalent of at least one pack of cigarettes a day for at least 20 years
• Have a written order from a physician or qualified health care practitioner

* This criteria reflects the updated guidelines published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in February 2022. Please read this press release from the CMS for more information.

“The LDCT screening test lowers lung cancer mortality because it allows us to detect and treat cancer as early as a possible,” said Peter Barkin, MD, Chief of Pulmonary Medicine at Emerson Hospital.

LDCT lung screening is a simple exam. No preparation is needed, no medications are given and no needles are used. You will simply need to lie still for a few minutes on a table while the scanning is performed using a CT machine that is mounted on the ceiling. The exam takes approximately fifteen minutes to complete.

After the screening a radiologist reviews the scan and reports the results to your doctor. Every scan is interpreted by board-certified radiologists at Emerson, many of whom are fellows of the American College of Radiology.

If you meet the criteria, you can contact your primary care physician to schedule a counseling visit. When your physician determines that you are qualified for the screening and provides you with a written order, you can schedule your LDCT lung screening at Emerson Hospital in Concord or at the Emerson Hospital Health Center in Westford. To make the screening appointment or for more information, please call 978-287-3003. 

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Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhospital.org.