Skip to Content

Lung Cancer Screening Program

We provide state-of-the-art comprehensive lung cancer screening services. Screening means testing for a disease when there are no symptoms or history of that disease. Lung cancer screening aims to find the disease earlier when treatment is more effective. Lung cancer screening can lower the lung cancer death rate by 20% or more for people at higher risk. Lung cancer screening uses a Low-Dose Computed Tomography (CT) scan to look for signs of lung cancer. This CT scan uses X-rays with minimal radiation to take detailed pictures of your lungs.

Who should get screened?

You may qualify for screening if you meet these three conditions:

  • Are 50 through 80 years old
  • Smoke cigarettes now or quit within the past 15 years
  • Smoked cigarettes for at least 20 pack-years*

*A “pack-year” is an estimate of how many cigarettes you have smoked in your lifetime. 20 “pack-years” equals smoking:

     - one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, or

     - two packs of cigarettes a day for 10 years, or

     - half a pack of cigarettes a day for 40 years

Our Lung Cancer Screening program coordinates screening for Veterans receiving care within San Francisco VA Health Care System. High-quality low-dose CT scans interpreted by specialized chest radiologists are available at these locations: 

  • San Francisco VA Medical Center
  • South Santa Rosa VA Clinic
  • Eureka VA Clinic

Our multidisciplinary care team of experts includes:

  • Chest radiologists
  • Pulmonologists
  • A medical oncologist specializing in lung cancer treatment
  • A radiation oncologist specializing in lung cancer treatment
  • A thoracic surgeon specializing in performing minimally invasive video-assisted robotic lung cancer surgeries


Additional Resources:

VA Raises Awareness about Lung Cancer Screening
Veterans’ Health Library - Info Sheet on Lung Cancer Screening
VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention - Lung Cancer Screening

Think you might be eligible for lung cancer screening?

Call our Lung Cancer Screening Program at

or talk to your VA Primary Care Provider!

San Francisco VA Lung Cancer Screening Program History

In 2014, San Francisco VA Health Care System was selected as one of 8 VA locations nationally to start offering lung cancer screening to Veterans. In 2021, we were awarded funding as a Center of Expertise under the VA’s new Lung Precision Oncology Program (LPOP), which aims to improve access for Veterans to high-quality lung cancer screening and to tailor individualized treatment for those diagnosed with lung cancer, including connecting Veterans with new therapies through clinical trials.

Meet our San Francisco VA Health Care System Lung Cancer Screening Team

Dr. Jim Brown, Lung Cancer Screening Program Director

Stephanie Nowak, Lung Cancer Screening Nurse Practitioner

Lisa Ochs, Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator Nurse

Denise Lee, Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator Nurse