Lung Cancer Screenings

NGMC cares for more than 3,000 new cancer patients each year. That means our community has access to expert physicians and advanced cancer fighting technologies such as lung cancer screenings.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women, exceeding the number of deaths from breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Unfortunately, lung cancer often has few to no symptoms until its fairly advanced, and routine screenings for lung cancer have not been common, leading to high mortality rates. Luckily, thanks to new screening options, lung cancer is increasingly being diagnosed earlier, when most treatable.

A painless, non-invasive screening is available for patients—if you have lung cancer risk factors, schedule a low-dose CT scan today!

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Recurring respiratory infections
  • Chest pain

It’s important to recognize that lung cancer is often asymptomatic until it’s fairly progressed—if you meet the qualifications for a lung cancer screening, that’s the best way to catch lung cancer early.

Who is at risk for lung cancer?

New lung cancer screening guidelines were released in November 2023, outlining that a patient should schedule a lung cancer screening if they are between age 50 – 80 and:

  • Are an active smoker or used to smoke
  • Have a 20 pack-year history
What are smoking pack-years and why are they important?

Lung Cancer Screenings

If you meet the criteria for a lung cancer screening, don’t wait for symptoms to appear—schedule a painless, non-invasive low-dose CT scan today.

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

If you have a positive result on a low-dose CT scan or another form of lung cancer imaging, additional diagnostics may be needed to confirm the presence of lung cancer or stage the cancer before treatment. Precise imaging can help improve your outcomes for treatment and reduce the risks of negative side effects.

We offer some of the most advanced lung cancer diagnostic technologies available, focusing on accurate diagnosis and a less invasive approach.

  • Robotic Navigational Ion Bronchoscopy – This procedure enables our team to target and retrieve tissue samples from deep within the lungs, all while using natural openings in the body, rather than needing to create additional incisions. This reduces the risks of the bronchoscopy, limits pain and recovery after, while providing very precise diagnostics.
  • Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy – A test to view the airways using a bronchoscope passed through the mouth or nose through the windpipe (trachea) and into the lungs
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) – In this procedure, a flexible tube is guided down your throat and into your lungs. A video camera is used to view the tissue, and a small needle will take samples of your lung tissue. This is a minimally invasive alternative to mediastinoscopy.
  • Transesophageal Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) – In this type of ultrasound, a high-frequency ultrasound transducer is incorporated into the tip of the flexible tube to provide high-resolution images.
  • Mediastinoscopy – A surgical procedure to examine the inside of the upper chest between, and in front, of the lungs.
  • CT guided needle biopsy – A procedure where the physician uses a very thin needle and syringe to withdraw a tissue or fluid specimen from an organ or suspected tumor mass.  The needle is guided while being viewed by the physician on a computer tomography (CT) scan.
  • Molecular profiling – A type of genetic testing, molecular profiling provides a molecular portrait of an individual cancer. This allows your care team to determine the origin of the cancer, its potential for metastasis, its specific drug responsiveness and the probability of its recurrence.

Support Groups

Lung cancer is not something you have to fight alone. Join the newly diagnosed, survivors and/or loved ones for a FREE lung cancer support groupClick here for upcoming meeting times and locations.

Take the next step

NGMC cares for more almost 3,000 new cancer patients each year. Our wrap-around care teams include pulmonologists, renowned robotic thoracic surgeons, radiation therapists, medical oncologists and patient navigators, all combined with the latest research and most advanced technologies to diagnose your cancer and determine the most effective treatment plan.

If you believe you are at risk for lung cancer, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your primary care physician. Low-dose CT scans are available at Imaging Center locations in Gainesville, Buford, Braselton and Barrow.

Lung cancer screenings are covered by Medicare and other health insurance. Ask your primary doctor about lung cancer screenings and your eligibility. You can also call 770-219-1320 and speak to someone in our Patient Access Center who will help with scheduling an exam at one of our Imaging Centers.

NGMC’s Cancer Services are accredited with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer – the highest level of accreditation possible.