FAQs about CT Screening
What is Computed Tomography?
The CT (Computed Tomography) scan or the CAT (Computer-Aided Tomography) scan is a diagnostic procedure that takes a detailed cross-sectional picture of the body.
To take a CT scan, the patient lies very still on a table connected to the CT scanner. The CT machine is shaped like a doughnut and the table simply slides through the doughnut in 20 seconds. No injections or medications are needed.
CT scans can show the shape, size, and the exact location of organs and tissues in any "slice" of the body more clearly than other diagnostic tools. CT scans are more sensitive than routine chest x-rays in finding early lung cancers.
What does it cost?
Mount Sinai charges $300 for the CT screening. Your insurance company may cover this important test, so please speak to your carrier or your doctor about coverage.
How much time will a CT Scan take?
The actual CT scanning time takes only about five minutes, including set up and actual scan. You are scanned for less than 20 seconds, while you hold your breath. We recommend that you set aside an hour for the appointment, even though it is unlikely that you will need the entire hour.
What is the amount of radiation in a low dose CT Screening?
A low dose CT scan has about 1/10th of the radiation dosage of a standard dose CT scan. It is roughly equal to a mammogram. Speak with your doctor about any concerns that you may have regarding the radiation dosage.
What is involved?
- You will be met by a member of the Lung Screening team who will take you through the process
- You will have the option of contributing to our lung screening research, in which case, with the help of our research coordinator, you would complete a confidential questionnaire on your smoking habits and other relevant risk factors for lung cancer. Participation in our research study is not required.
- You will be brought to the exam room where you can remain in your own clothing. You will lie on the table and be slid through the CT scanner while you hold your breath for 20 seconds.
- You will receive the results of your scan within one week.