Lung Cancer Screening

Key Leadership
William A. Bulman, M.D.
Byron Thomashow, M.D.
Anna Rozenshtein, MD, MPH
Joshua Sonett, MD

For Appointments
CT Lung Cancer Screening
P: (212) 326-8505

ColumbiaDoctors Midtown Radiology
51. West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Columbia University Kreitchman PET Center
722 W. 168th Street, Alan Rosenfield Building R1
New York, NY 10032

Pulmonary Nodule Assessment Program
161 Fort Washington Avenue
Herbert Irving Pavilion Suite 310
New York, NY 10032
P: (212) 305-1544

Lung cancer screening with computed tomography (CT) helps detect lung cancer at an early stage when it can be removed completely and cured. CUMC lung cancer screening program offers high quality imaging with state-of-the-art CT equipment. Our program includes subspecialty-trained chest radiologists as well as board-certified pulmonologists, oncologists and thoracic surgeons based at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the only hospital in New York City on the US News and World Report Honor Roll.

Information for Patients

Is lung cancer screening right for you?

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) demonstrated a 20% decrease in lung cancer related mortality in current and former smokers age 55-74 with a history of at least 30 years of smoking one pack daily when screened with CT  compared to smokers who did not have CT screening. Other people at increased risk for lung cancer, such as current and former smokers in all age groups,  people with strong family history of lung cancer, and people with asbestos exposure, may also benefit.

How Lung Cancer Screening Works

  • Please discuss lung cancer screening with your doctor and obtain a referral.
  • If you do not have a doctor, we will refer you for consultation with one of the physicians in the Columbia Lung Center when you call (212) 326-8505 to make a lung cancer screening CT appointment.  
  • You can choose the location most convenient for you: Columbia University Eastside Radiology on East 60th Street or Columbia University Medical Center on West 168th Street/Haven Ave.
  • There is a fee of $300. Please contact your insurance carrier to determine if your policy covers lung cancer screening with CT.
burning cigarette
Photograph by Rebecca Marant

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will I be exposed to radiation?
    Yes, CT requires the use of x-rays to generate images. Low- dose screening CT at CUMC utilizes 10% of the radiation dose used for an average diagnostic chest CT.
  • Can I get a lung cancer screening CT without a doctor’s order?
    No, New York State law requires a physician referral for all imaging tests except mammography. If you do not have a physician, we can make an appointment with you with a lung specialist in the nodule clinic.
  • How will I be informed of the results?
    Your screening CT will be interpreted by experienced, board-certified radiologists. The report will be sent to your doctor, who will then discuss the result with you.
  • If an abnormality is found, does it mean I have cancer?
    Not necessarily. Small nodules and other abnormalities are found in about 1 in 5 screening CT scans, but most of these turn out to be benign—not cancer. Additional tests, most commonly follow-up scans, may be necessary to separate these incidental nodules from early cancers.
  • What if you do find cancer?
    The Lung Center at Columbia University Medical Center includes lung specialists, surgeons, and oncologists specializing in lung cancer treatment who can advise you on treatment options. More information at (877) 586-3212.

Information for Referring Providers

image of lungsThe National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) found a 20% reduction in lung cancer-related mortality in current and former smokers screened with low dose CT as compared to controls screened with chest radiographs. This is of enormous potential benefit for a population at risk for this common aggressive malignancy.

The Department of Radiology at Columbia University is offering low-dose CT screening to patients at risk for lung cancer if they meet the NLST criteria: smokers 55-74 years of age with at least 30 pack-year history and former smokers who stopped smoking within the last 15 years. If your patient does not meet NLST criteria for screening but is otherwise at high risk for lung cancer, screening may be appropriate. In compliance with New York State law, all patients are required to have a physician’s referral.

A low-dose screening chest CT without intravenous contrast will be performed, delivering on average less than 1.5 mSv effective radiation dose. By comparison, an average diagnostic chest CT delivers 8 mSv effective radiation dose. The studies will be interpreted by fellowship-trained thoracic radiologists. The reports will be sent to the referring physician and will be accessible on the clinical information systems. Referring physicians with access to PACS or GE Web will be able to see the images directly.

Screening will be conducted at two sites: 16 E 60th Street and 722 W 168th St (PET Center) at $300 charge to the patient. At present CT lung cancer screening is not reimbursed by most third-party payers. To make an appointment, please contact (212) 326-8505 for both locations.

Faculty

Radiology
Marc Brown, MD
Belinda D’Souza, MD
Gregory Pearson, MD, PhD
Anna Rozenshtein, MD, MPH

Pulmonary Nodule Assesment Program
William A. Bulman, MD