Number of years you've smoked times number of packs per day equals your pack year.

30 seconds could save your life.

Mosaic Life Care offers a 30-second, low-dose scan to help determine your risk for lung cancer.  We are the only accredited institution in St. Joseph and the surrounding areas that offers this screening.

Calculate your pack year

Number of years you've smoked times number of packs per day equals your pack year.

30+ pack-year smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer.

You may qualify for a lung screening. If you are or were a 30+ pack-year smoker, talk to your doctor and ask for a lung screening.

Lung Cancer Screening FAQ’s

Yearly lung screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) has been shown to save lives by finding lung cancer early, when it is easier to treat. This handout answers many questions people have about LDCT lung screening. If you have additional questions, please call (816) 271-6200 or the lung screen coordinator at (816) 271-7003.

Do I have any obligations to Mosaic Life Care if I have the screening?

The screening does not obligate you to return to Mosaic Life Care for any further screenings, evaluations, or any other services Mosaic Life Care provides.

What is the goal of LDCT lung screening?

The goal of LDCT lung screening is to save lives. Without screening, lung cancer is usually not found until very late stages when a person has symptoms and is much harder to treat. Screenings do not prevent cancer, but do potentially help detect it at an earlier stage. Smokers who quit smoking will lessen their changes of cancer.

Who should get a lung screening?

LDCT lung screenings are recommended for people ages 55−77 who have smoked at least an average of one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. This includes people who still smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Those who have symptoms of a lung cancer at the time of screening are not eligible.

Why should I be symptom free for the scan?

Certain symptoms can be a sign you have a condition in your lungs that should be evaluated and treated by your doctor. These may include fever, chest pain, a new or changing cough, shortness of breath you never had before, coughing up blood or unexplained weight loss. Having any of these symptoms may greatly affect the results of lung screening and may actually delay the treatment you might need.

I am in one of the high-risk groups, but have been diagnosed with cancer in the past. Is LDCT lung screening right for me?

It depends. In some cases, the screening will not be appropriate, such as when your doctor is already following your cancer with CT scan studies. Your doctor will help determine if the screening is right for you.

Do I need a lung screening exam every year?

Yes. If you are in one of the high-risk groups described above, a LDCT lung screening is recommended every year until you are 77 years old, have remained cigarette-free for 15 years or have developed problems that would make treatment of cancer, if found, too risky.

What is the benefit of a LDCT lung screening?

Studies have shown that LDCT lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are at high risk.

What should I expect at the exam?

LDCT lung screening is one of the easiest screenings you can have. The exam takes less than 30 seconds. No medications are given, and no needles are used. You can eat before and after the exam. You don’t even need to undress as long as the clothing on your chest doesn’t contain metal. You must, however, be able to hold your breath for at least six seconds while the scan is taken.

Are there any risks to LDCT lung screening?

There are several risks and limitations of LDCT lung screening. We want to make sure we’ve clearly explained them. Please let us know if you have questions.

Are there any risks to LDCT lung screening?

There are several risks and limitations of LDCT lung screening. We want to make sure we’ve clearly explained them. Please let us know if you have questions.

  • Radiation exposure: LDCT lung screening uses radiation to create images of your lungs. Radiation can increase a person's risk of cancer. By using special techniques, the amount of radiation in a LDCT lung screening is small, about the same amount a person would receive from a screening mammogram. The benefits of the screening outweigh the risks of being exposed to the small amount of radiation from this exam.
  • False negatives: No test, including LDCT lung screening, is perfect. It's possible you may have a medical condition, including lung cancer, not found during your exam. This is called a false negative.
  • False positives/additional testing: LDCT lung screening often shows something in the lung that could be cancer, but in fact is not. This is called a false positive. False positive tests often cause anxiety. In order to make sure these findings are not cancer, you may need to have more tests. These tests will be performed only with your permission. Occasionally, patients need a procedure, such as a biopsy, that can have potential side effects. For more information on false positives, see "What can I expect from the results?"
  • Findings not related to lung cancer: Your LDCT lung screening also captures images of areas of your body next to your lungs. In a small percentage of cases (5−10 percent), the CT scan will show an abnormal finding in one of these areas, such as your kidneys, adrenal glands, heart, bones, liver or thyroid. This finding may not be serious, however, you may need to be examined further. Your doctor can help decide if any additional testing is needed.

How much does the screening cost?

Most insurance cover the cost of LDCT lung screening. Please check your insurance plan to see if it is a covered benefit. Any additional testing you may need, based on the results of the screening, will be billed to your insurance. Most insurance companies cover the cost of these additional tests. If you need help understanding your insurance coverage, and you are a Mosaic Life Care patient, please contact one of our patient financial counselors at 816.271.7524. If you do not have insurance, you will need to cover the cost of any additional testing. Our patient financial counselors can help you understand your payment options.

What can I expect from the results?

About one out of four screening will find something that may require additional imaging or evaluation. Most of the time these findings are lung nodules. Lung nodules are very small collections of tissue in the lung. Nodules are very common, more than 97 percent, are not cancerous. Most are normal lymph nodes or small areas of scarring from past infections. Less commonly, lung cancer may be detected. If a lung nodule is found to be cancer, and found to be at an early stage, it can be cured nearly 90 percent of the time. To distinguish the large number of benign (noncancerous) nodules from the few nodules that are cancerous, more images may be needed before your next yearly screening. If the nodule has suspicious features we will refer you to a specialist for more testing.

When will I get the results?

You will receive exam results within two weeks. If you do not receive the results within two weeks, please call (816) 271-7003 and request them.

Will my doctor also receive the results?

Yes. The doctor who ordered your exam will receive a copy of your results.

Where can I find help to quit smoking?

The BEST way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. For help to quit smoking, please call:

  • Mosaic Life Care Wellness for individual smoking cessation counseling at (816) 271-7094 or
  • Missouri’s Tobacco Quit line toll free at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit quitnow.net/missouri.

I think I qualify for LDCT lung screening. What should I do next?

Contact your primary care doctor to set up a visit to discuss a lung cancer screen.

Schedule a Screening Today

Contact your doctor to see if a lung screening is right for you. Looking for a primary care doctor? Find a doctor or schedule online to make an appointment at Mosaic Life Care.

Contact Us

If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer and are interested in getting a second opinion consultation with one of our doctors, contact us at (816) 271-1301.