About the Lung Cancer Screening Program at UCSF
UCSF Medical Center offers a Lung Cancer Screening Program for qualified candidates. Lung cancer screening can detect lung cancer early in high-risk patients, when the disease is potentially more treatable and curable. In the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), screening with low-dose CT scan reduced deaths from lung cancer by 20%.
The program includes a low-dose CT scan of the chest and a consultation with a UCSF pulmonologist (a doctor who is an expert in breathing problems and related diseases). For patient convenience, the scan and consultation may be scheduled on the same day. To make this program affordable, it is being offered at a special discounted price, making it a cost-effective option for most patients.
The American College of Chest Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend that screening take place in the setting of large academic medical centers such as UCSF where thoracic radiologists have received extensive training in screening algorithms and where extensive quality controls ensure consistent interpretation of images and descriptions of low-dose CT scan findings. Board-certified thoracic surgeons at UCSF perform complex lung cancer surgeries and diagnostic procedures in high volume in the event such treatment is required.
The Lung Cancer Screening Program bring together a multidisciplinary team of specialists from radiology, pulmonary medicine, thoracic surgery and oncology who work as a seamless unit to develop personalized, innovative and highly effective treatment plans. CT scans are read and analyzed by a dedicated thoracic radiologist with in-depth knowledge of lung cancer screening algorithms and diagnostic modalities. Each screened patient meets with a pulmonologist, who will discuss the results of the scan, follow the patient for subsequent scans, and if required, recommend additional workup evaluation or treatment.
Using the latest low-dose CT scan technology, our experts are equipped to provide patients with the earliest detection options, the most comprehensive treatment plans and the best possible outcomes. UCSF radiologists are combining new scanning protocols and imaging software to greatly reduce the radiation associated with CT scans. The goal is to take full advantage of this powerful diagnostic tool while minimizing patients’ exposure to radiation.
The UCSF Lung Cancer Screening Program is directed by Lorriana E. Leard, MD, Vice Chief of Clinical Activities, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, and Brett M. Elicker, MD, Chief of Cardiac and Pulmonary Imaging and Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology at UCSF. Dr. Elicker answers a number of frequently asked questions about lung cancer screening CT.