top of page

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer among men and women in Rhode Island and across the United States. It is the leading cause of death from cancer statewide and nationally. 


Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, but it doesn’t have to be. If lung cancer is found at an early stage, it is more likely to be treated successfully. Symptoms of lung cancer don't typically appear until the disease is already at an advanced stage. This is why lung cancer screening is recommended for people who smoke or used to smoke, but who don't have any signs or symptoms. If a person has lung cancer but doesn't have any symptoms, there is a chance to detect the disease early.

Lung cancer screening is recommended annually for eligible people with a low dose computed tomography or LDCT scan. Screening with LDCT has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer. In RI, it is estimated that only 6% of people who are eligible for lung cancer screening are getting screened.

The Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island suggests following the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines which recommend yearly lung cancer screening with LDCT scans for people who…

  • Are 50 to 80 years old and not showing symptoms and signs of lung cancer,


  • Currently smoke or have quit in the past 15 years,


  • Have at least a 20 pack-year smoking history. (Number of packs of cigarettes per day multiplied by the number of years smoked. For example, someone who smoked 2 packs a day for 10 years [2 x 10 = 20] has 20 pack-years of smoking, as does a person who smoked 1 pack a day for 20 years [1 x 20 = 20].

Screening for lung cancer is done with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT). You lie on a flat table that slides back and forth inside the CT scanner. When you’re inside the scanner, an x-ray tube rotates and sends out tiny x-ray beams. These beams quickly pass through your body and a computer converts them into images of the lungs. A LDCT scan is painless and only takes about a minute. You don’t need to swallow anything or get any type of injection before this type of CT scan. LDCT does expose you to a small amount of radiation, although it is less than that from a standard CT scan.

Talk to your doctor to find out if lung cancer screening is right for you.


Screening saves lives.

Lung cancer screening is quick and easy. It takes about a minute. No blood tests or injections are necessary. Check it out below.

Video showing the LDCT screening process.

Video showing human lungs from a LDCT scan.

We appreciate any feedback or suggestions that can help us to improve the center.

If you wish to submit a question or comments, please use our contact form.


The information on this site, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other external materials are for informational purposes only. The Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island does not provide medical advice. The information on this website is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

bottom of page