• Penrose-St. Francis Lung Cancer Screening Program

  • Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, but an annual screening can lower the death rate significantly. 

    The screening, a computed tomography scan using low doses of radiation (called a low-dose CT scan) helps detect lung cancer at earlier stages when it is more treatable. Eighty percent of people whose cancer was detected early through the screening lived 10 or more years, according to studies by the National Cancer Institute. In comparison, fewer than 15 percent of patients whose lung cancer is detected at advanced stages live five years after diagnosis. 

    The Centura Health Cancer Network, the only accredited cancer network in Colorado, is now offering this screening at all of its facilities, including Penrose Cancer Center.  

  • Who should be screened?

  • Current or former smoker, one who has quit smoking within the last 15 years, and meet these criteria are eligible for screening through the Centura Lung Screening Program:

    • Age 55 to 77
    • Smoking history of 30 “pack-years” or more (for example, a pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years)
    • Asymptomatic for cancer
    • No history of lung cancer 


    If you meet the criteria above and would like to have a screening, talk to your primary care doctor for a referral.  Your screening will be billed to your insurance or Medicare. Don’t have a primary care doctor? Visit Penrose-St. Francis.

    • Other risk factors include:

      • Some limited smoking history under a 20-year pack history;
      • Radon exposure, occupational exposure to silica, cadmium, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes and nickel;
      • Family history of lung cancer; and
      • Lung disease history, including COPD or pulmonary fibrosis


      To participate in the program, you must not have any current symptoms or signs of lung cancer.

    • How does the program work?

    • Penrose-St. Francis wants to partner with you in quitting tobacco use.  If you would like information regarding our Tobacco Cessation program, please call 719-776-7348. 

      If you are determined to be "high risk" you will be mailed further information about the program and a nurse navigator will call you to get your health information and schedule you for your scan. Participants will receive a low-dose CT scan of their lungs annually for three consecutive years. 

      This program uses the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines to manage recommendations for follow-up care.  A panel of experts will review the test.  If there are any findings, the medical team will make recommendations, including referral to the appropriate lung care specialist for follow up care if needed. The goal of the multidisciplinary team is to ensure that individuals receive appropriate care, but do not undergo needless testing and procedures. 

    • Involving your primary care physician:

    • The Lung Cancer Screening Program will communicate your lung screening results to your Primary Care Physician, and will work with your Primary Care Physicians to ensure that appropriate follow-up care is received. 

    • What can you do?

    • Penrose-St. Francis wants to partner with you in quitting tobacco use.  If you would like information regarding our Tobacco Cessation program, please call 719-776-7348. 

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