Lung Cancer Screening


The American Lung Association’s State of Lung Cancer report shows the toll lung cancer takes on each state in the country. Examining rates of new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment, and screening, this report indicates that states must do more to protect their residents from lung cancer. ( Massachusetts does better than most parts of the country (

There are 60 new cases of lung cancer per 100,000 population. The 5-year survival (all stages put together) is around 26%. 34% of all lung cancers are caught early. The best chance for survival is if the cancer is identified early. Unfortunately, only around 12% of all the at-risk population gets screened in this state. Surprisingly, the number is better than that of most states. Disparities in lung cancer screening are particularly problematic in communities with significant disparities.

Criteria for screening

50 to 80 years.

Have a 20-pack-year smoking history.

Currently, I have smoked cigarettes or quit within the past 15 years.

How to calculate pack-year smoking history:

On February 10, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a revised National Coverage Determination (NCD) policy that expanded coverage for lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). This revised NCD expands coverage for LDCT lung cancer screening by lowering the starting age for screening from 55 to 50 years and reducing the tobacco smoking history from at least 30 packs per year to at least 20 packs per year. This update closely aligns with the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) revised recommendation published in 20212 and broadens access to lung cancer screening to more at-risk populations. Nationally, less than 15% of the eligible population is being screened. There are very significant disparities in existing lung cancer diagnoses among women, racial and ethnic minority groups, and individuals of low socioeconomic status.

Find out if you are at risk

How can we help:

If you or anyone you know fits the criteria for lung cancer, please call our office at (978) 775-1428  to schedule a lung cancer screening CT scan. Medicare and most insurances cover the cost of lung cancer screening if you meet the criteria. If you do not meet the criteria and wish to be screened, the out-of-pocket cost to you is manageable.

CMS policy on lung cancer screening:


It’s never too late to quit smoking. Quitting smoking now improves your health and reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses.


Broken Addiction Cycle

Quitting smoking can re-wire your brain and help break the cycle of addiction. The large number of nicotine receptors in your brain will return to normal levels after about a month of being quit.

Head and Face

Sharp Hearing

Quitting smoking will keep your hearing sharp. Remember, even mild hearing loss can cause problems (like not hearing directions correctly and doing a task wrong).

Better Vision

Stopping smoking will improve your night vision and help preserve your overall vision by stopping the damage that smoking does to your eyes.

Clean Mouth

Nobody likes a dirty mouth. After a few days without cigarettes, your smile will be brighter. Not smoking now will keep your mouth healthy for years to come.

Clear Skin

Quitting smoking is better than anti-aging lotion. Quitting can help clear up blemishes and protect your skin from premature aging and wrinkling.


Decreased Heart Risks

Smoking is the leading cause of heart attacks and heart disease. However, many of these heart risks can be reversed simply by quitting smoking. Quitting can lower your blood pressure and heart rate almost immediately. Your risk of a heart attack declines within 24 hours.

Thin Blood

Another effect of quitting smoking is that your blood will become thinner and less likely to form dangerous blood clots. Your heart will also have less work to do because it will be able to move the blood around your body more easily.

Lower Cholesterol

Quitting smoking will not get rid of the fatty deposits that are already there. However, it will lower the levels of cholesterol and fats circulating in your blood, which will help to slow the buildup of new fatty deposits in your arteries.


Stop Lung Damage

Scarring of the lungs is not reversible. That is why it is important to quit smoking before you do permanent damage to your lungs. Within two weeks of quitting, you might notice it’s easier to walk up the stairs because you may be less short of breath. Don’t wait until later; quit today!

Prevent Emphysema

There is no cure for emphysema. But quitting when you are young before you have done years of damage to the delicate air sacs in your lungs, will help protect you from developing emphysema later.

Return of Cilia

Cilia start to regrow and regain normal function very quickly after you quit smoking. They are one of the first things in your body to heal. People sometimes notice that they cough more than usual when they first quit smoking. This is a sign that the cilia are coming back to life. But you’re more likely to fight off colds and infections when your cilia are working properly.


Lower Cancer Risk

Quitting smoking will prevent new DNA damage from happening and can even help repair the damage that has already been done. Quitting smoking immediately is the best way to lower your risk of getting cancer.

Stomach and Hormones

Smaller Belly

Quitting smoking will reduce your belly fat and lower your risk of diabetes. If you already have diabetes, quitting can help you keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Normal Estrogen Levels

If you’re a woman, your estrogen levels will gradually return to normal after you quit smoking. And if you hope to have children someday, quitting smoking right now will increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy in the future.

Erectile Dysfunction

Sexual Healing

If you quit smoking now, you can lower your chances of erectile dysfunction and improve your chances of having a healthy sexual life.

Blood and the Immune System

Normal White Blood Cell Count

When you quit smoking, your body will begin to heal from the injuries that smoking causes. Eventually, your white blood cell counts will return to normal, and will no longer be on the defensive.

Proper Healing

Quitting smoking will improve blood flow to wounds, allowing important nutrients, minerals, and oxygen to reach the wound and help it heal properly.

Stronger Immune System

When you quit smoking, your immune system is no longer exposed to tar and nicotine. It will become stronger, and you will be less likely to get sick.

Muscles and Bones

Strong Muscles

Quitting smoking will help increase the availability of oxygen in your blood, and your muscles will become stronger and healthier.

Stronger Bones

Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of fractures, both now and later in life. Keep your bones strong and healthy by quitting now.

Helpful Resources to Quit Smoking: