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National Lung Cancer Screening Day is Nov. 11

Dr. Larry Antonucci's Blog Posts


Nov. 1, 2023

You may be eligible for a free low-dose CT lung cancer screening

Though lung cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more Americans die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer, and if you are currently smoking or have a history of smoking, you may be eligible for a free low-dose CT lung cancer screening.

National Lung Cancer Screening Day is Nov. 11, and the Lee Health Lung Cancer Screening and Nodule Program is hosting a community event on Saturday, Nov. 11, 9 a.m.-noon, at the Outpatient Center at the Sanctuary, 8960 Colonial Center Drive in Fort Myers. You could be eligible for the lung cancer screening if you meet the criteria:

  • You are 50-80 years of age; and
  • You currently smoke or you quit in the past 15 years; and
  • You have at least a 20-pack-year smoking history*; and
  • You do not have symptoms of lung cancer.

*This is the number of years smoked multiplied by the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day. For example: 1 pack/day X 20 years = 20 pack years.

If you believe you meet the criteria, a prescreening is required.

Bobbi Marino, MSN, APRN, TTS, FNP-BC, OCN, Lung Cancer Screening Program director, explains the process. “All you have to do is go to and complete the ‘Schedule a Screening’ questionnaire on the right-hand side of the webpage,” she said. “Once you complete and submit the prescreening form, the clinic will receive the information and contact you for a visit to complete a health history and discuss lung cancer screening—this can be an ‘in person’ or via a tele visit. Once we confirm you meet the lung cancer screening criteria, I will place an order for the low-dose CT, and we can schedule it, hopefully for the Nov. 11 screening day, but we will work with your schedule and preferred location.”

The low-dose CT is the only recommended screening test for lung cancer. It does not require an IV or medications, and it is not an MRI. You lie still on a table and slowly move through the scanner. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes. Bobbi also shares that the radiation exposure through this scan is more than a regular X-ray but less than 10% of a regular CT scan, and it finds small nodules or other abnormalities in the lungs.

“If an abnormality is detected, it does not mean you have lung cancer,” Bobbi said. “Our lung cancer screening often uncovers chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery calcification, aortic aneurysm or other conditions. If an abnormality is suspicious for lung cancer, then our team—in collaboration with your primary care physician—will direct you into our lung nodule pathway for additional evaluation to determine a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan that is best for you.”

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