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Lung Cancer Screening Program

The Boise VA Medical Center offers a multidisciplinary lung cancer screening program. We are a specialized team of Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Pulmonologists, Radiologists, and Oncologists dedicated to offering this important program to our Veterans. 

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States and is more common in Veterans compared to the general population. People with lung cancer often have no symptoms until their cancer is already at an advanced stage.  However, preventative screening can detect early lung cancer and save lives.   When detected early, lung cancer is often treatable.   

Click here to learn more about Lung Cancer Screening facts: The Facts About Lung Cancer Screening - YouTube 

You should consider being screened for lung cancer if you have all three risk factors:  

  • 50–80 years old and 
  • A current smoker or a former smoker who quit less than 15 years ago and 
  • A smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (this means 1 pack per day for 20 years or 2 packs a day for 10 years, etc.) 

How is screening for lung cancer done?  

We screen for lung cancer using a low-dose CT scan. This CT scan gives a detailed picture of your lungs. Click here for more information about what is involved: What to Expect Before, During, and After Your Lung Cancer Screening | Veterans Affairs (va.gov) 

How can lung cancer be prevented? 

Quitting smoking is the #1 way to prevent and reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.  If you still smoke cigarettes, there are many resources to help you quit. Quitting cigarette smoking may be difficult, but it is the best way to improve your health and reduce your risk for lung cancer. When you are ready to quit, you can schedule directly into the Tobacco Cessation clinic by calling 208-422-1000 and ask for the BLUE team. You can also call 1-855-QUIT-VET(1-855-784-8838) or visit veterans.smokefree.gov.  

How do I enroll in lung cancer screening?  

Contact your primary care team to find out if you qualify for lung cancer screening.  If you are a candidate for screening, your provider will refer you to the Lung Cancer Screening Program. 

Lung Cancer Screening Resources:  

Lung Cancer Screening information from NCHPDP: Screening for Lung Cancer - National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (va.gov) 

Whole Health Resources for Lung Cancer: Lung Cancer Care and Prevention - Whole Health Library (va.gov)