Geisinger Lung Cancer Screening Program Promotes Early Detection

Geisinger’s lung cancer screening program, launched over the last year, is the best way for at-risk patients to receive annual screenings key to the early detection of lung cancer.

When detected early, lung cancer is easier to treat, and screenings are an important diagnostic tool in the process. Cancer screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies are familiar to many patients, but fewer know they might be eligible for yearly lung cancer screenings.

Lung cancer is responsible for the most cancer-related deaths in men and women in the U.S, and lung cancer screenings are non-invasive diagnostic tests that can help detect cancer in its earliest stages.

During the screening, a specialized scanner is used to take a detailed computerized picture of the lungs. This low-dose CT scan is painless and uses 75 percent less radiation than a traditional CT scan. Screening takes only a few minutes, and regular activities can be resumed immediately following the scan.

“Think of lung cancer screening the way you think of any other preventive exam,” said Matthew Facktor, M.D., thoracic surgeon and director of the lung cancer screening program at Geisinger. “It’s necessary for staying on top of your health, and your doctor can help you decide if a screening is right for you.”

Patients are eligible for yearly lung cancer screening if they do not have lung cancer symptoms and meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 55 and 77
  • Have a 30-pack-year history of smoking (smoked an average of one pack per day for 30 years, two packs per day for 15 years, etc.)
  • Currently smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years

After the scan, results are analyzed by the comprehensive screening program and shared with both patient and doctor, who will collaborate if further testing is needed.

“You and your doctor will work together to create a plan around your particular needs,” said Dr. Facktor.”

For more information about lung cancer screening at Geisinger, visit or call 570-600-6883.