Annual Lung Screening Facts


Lung Cancer Outlook

Lung cancer has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates of any cancer. Over a 10-year period, total deaths have decreased among men, but slightly increased among women.

Nearly 1 in 4 cancer deaths are caused from lung cancer. More than 50% of people diagnosed with lung cancer will die within 1 year of their diagnosis. 


Unfortunately, lung cancer is rarely detected at an early stage. The later stage symptoms of lung cancer include shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, recurring bronchitis or pneumonia and coughing.

It may be years before you notice your own symptoms, and the cancer may have already spread by then. A low-dose CT scan is a quick and painless procedure used to detect problems that may be not appear on a routine x-ray. 

Risk Factors

Risk factors can make it more likely that any person will develop lung cancer at some point in their lifetime. Common risk factors of lung cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Radon exposure
  • Toxins or pollutants
  • Family history of lung cancer 

Who Should be Screened?

In the United States, approximately 10 million people are eligible for a lung screening. Anyone who meets the following criteria is considered eligible:

  • People between the ages of 55 and 77 with no present symptoms
  • Current smokers or those who’ve quit smoking in the past 15 years
  • Those willing and physically able to receive treatment if cancer is discovered
  • People with a 30 “pack year” smoking history (the number of pack years equals packs smoked daily times years spent smoking)

950,000 people in Mercy’s service area are eligible for lung screenings. 

Sources: American Lung Association & American Cancer Society

Early Detection
Mercy Lung Cancer Screening

Screening with a low-dose CT scan can detect lung cancer early when it’s more likely to be cured with treatment and therapy. 

Learn more about detecting lung cancer early.