What you can expect

During lung cancer screening

During an LDCT scan of the lungs, you lie on your back on a long table. You may be given a pillow to make you more comfortable.

The technologist who runs your scan will move to a separate room where he or she can still see you and talk with you.

You'll be asked to lie very still as the table slides through the center of a large machine that creates the images of your lungs. The table passes through the machine initially to determine the starting point for the scan.

When the machine is ready to start the scan, you may be asked to hold your breath briefly in order to create a clear picture of your lungs. The table will move quickly through the machine as the images are created. The machine may make knocking or clicking noises.

Expect your appointment to last about a half-hour, though the actual scan takes less than a minute.

After lung cancer screening

When your LDCT scan is complete, you can go about your day normally.

The images created during the scan are compiled by a computer and reviewed by a doctor who specializes in diagnosing lung cancer with imaging tests (chest radiologist).