Lung Cancer Screening Pilot for People at High Risk

person having a CT Scan

If you are between 55 and 74 years of age and have smoked cigarettes daily for at least 20 years in total, you may be eligible for lung cancer screening. Talk to your doctor about our Lung Cancer Screening Pilot for People at High Risk, now available at our Oshawa site.

In Ontario, lung cancer is the number one cancer people die from. The reason so many people die from lung cancer is that by the time it causes symptoms, it has usually spread to other parts of the body or is too big to treat easily. Getting screened with a low-dose CT scan is the best way to find lung cancer early.

To help plan for a province-wide program, lung screening is being offered to people who are at high risk of getting lung cancer in a few hospitals in Ontario. If you are eligible for the pilot, you will be offered a low dose CT Scan, which is free and uses a small amount of radiation.

Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer.

Up to 85 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes. If you currently smoke and are referred to the lung cancer screening centre, you will be offered services to help you quit. If you don't qualify for screening, you will still be offered these services. Quitting smoking is the best way to lower your chance of getting lung cancer and other diseases.

How can someone get help to quit smoking?

You can contact Smoker's Helpline by calling 1-877-513-5333 or visiting www.SmokersHelpline.ca. Smoker's Helpline is there to help whether you are thinking about quitting, getting ready to quit, need help staying smoke-free, not ready to quit or want to help someone else quit.

A non-judgemental Quit Coach will help you make a personalized quit plan, manage cravings, withdrawal symptoms and stress, learn about quit aids, find support in your local community and get optional follow-up calls throughout your quitting journey. All Smoker's Helpline programs and resources are free. 

How does someone know if lung cancer screening is right for them?

You should only get screened with a low-dose CT scan (also known as a low-dose CAT scan) if you are at high risk of getting lung cancer because you have smoked cigarettes for many years. People who are not at high risk of getting lung cancer should not get screened as there may be more risks than benefits for them.

Screening may not be right for you if you have symptoms of lung cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms.

If you have lung cancer, you may have:

  • A new cough that doesn't go away or gets worse;
  • Chest pain that is often worse when you breathe deeply, cough or laugh;
  • A hoarse voice;
  • Weight loss without trying;
  • No appetite;
  • Blood or rust-coloured spit or mucus with a cough;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, that do not go away or keep coming back;
  • Wheezing

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms. Screening may not be right for you if you have any of these symptoms.

Contact

To find out if you qualify for lung cancer screening, contact your doctor or call our screening pilot program at    

905-576-8711 ext. 34449

Referral Form