A radiologist analyzes your CT scan images and sends the results to your doctor. The radiologist looks for abnormalities that might indicate a lung cancer.
Examples of lung CT scan results include:
Apr. 10, 2014
- No abnormalities discovered. If no abnormalities are discovered on your lung CT scan, your doctor may recommend you undergo another scan in a year. You may continue annual scans until you and your doctor determine they no longer offer benefit.
Lung nodules. Lung cancer may appear as one or more small spots in the lungs. Unfortunately, many other lung conditions look the same, including scars from lung infections and noncancerous (benign) growths.
Your doctor may recommend another lung CT scan in a few months to see if the lung nodule grows. Rapidly growing nodules are more likely to be cancerous.
A very large nodule may also be more likely to be cancerous. For that reason, your doctor may recommend additional tests, such as a procedure (biopsy) to remove a piece of a very large nodule for laboratory testing.
- Other health problems. Your lung CT scan may detect other lung and heart problems that are common in people who have smoked for a long time, such as emphysema and hardening of the arteries in the heart. Your doctor may recommend additional tests depending on the condition.
- Providing guidance on lung cancer screening to patients and physicians. American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-screening-guidelines. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Detterbeck FC, et al. Screening for lung cancer: Diagnosis and management of lung cancer, 3rd ed.: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2013;143(Suppl):e785.
- Wender R, et al. American Cancer Society lung cancer screening guidelines. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2013;63:107.
- Wood DE, et al. Lung cancer screening. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 2012;10:240.
- Humphrey LL, et al. Screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography: A systematic review to update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2013;159:411.
- Patz EF, et al. Overdiagnosis in low-dose computed tomography screening for lung cancer. JAMA Internal Medicine. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1785197. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- Computed tomography (CT) — chest. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=chestct. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Screening for lung cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Rockville, Md.: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf13/lungcan/lungcanfinalrs.htm. Accessed Dec. 31, 2013.