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Lung Screening

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The Lung Screening Program is now available in Central Zone communities. Central Zone communities include: Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville, Eastern Shore and West Hants. The Lung Screening Program will eventually be available across the province.
The goal of the Lung Screening Program is to prevent lung cancer and to find lung cancer at an earlier stage when treatments work best.  
The lung screening program has three key parts :

  • information about improving lung health
  • supports for people who smoke and who are interested in quitting, and
  • a CT scan for people found to be at high risk for lung cancer. About half of all people who call the program will not be found to be at high risk for lung cancer. They will not benefit from a CT scan and will not be offered one.

Being screened for lung cancer is about looking for cancer before there are warning signs or symptoms. It is a step you can take for your health. For people at high risk for lung cancer, screening can save lives.  
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers. It is the most common cause of cancer death in Nova Scotia. The Lung Screening Program is here to help.  When lung cancer is found early, it can be cured.  


The phone number for the Lung Screening Program is 1-833-505-LUNG (5864)

How do I access the program?

The Lung Screening Program is now available in Central Zone (Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville, Eastern Shore, West Hants). Nova Scotians are invited to call the Lung Screening Program if they:

  • are between 50 and 74 years old, 
  • have a history of daily smoking for at least 20 years (this includes anyone who has quit smoking but has a history of daily smoking for at least 20 years),
  • have no warning signs or symptoms of lung cancer,
  • want to lower their risk of lung cancer or find it early when treatment works best.

A person’s health care provider may also refer them.

What will happen at my appointment?

When a person calls the Lung Screening Program directly, they will be asked to leave a confidential message with their name, phone number and date of birth. Someone from the Lung Screening Program will call them back to arrange an appointment. If a person’s health care provider refers them, someone from the lung screening team will also call the person to arrange an appointment.

Nova Scotians should have their health card number close by. They will need to provide it at their first telephone appointment.
The first appointment is a telephone appointment with the nurse navigator. The navigator is a specially trained nurse. They will ask questions to understand your personal risk for lung cancer. They will ask about your health and whether you smoke now or if you smoked at one time and have stopped smoking. Your answers will help determine your personal level of risk for lung cancer and what the next steps will be. The nurse will explain these next steps and answer your questions to help you make decisions. Everyone who is interested in stopping smoking will be offered information and support to help them quit. Smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer.

Will there be any follow-up?

Your follow-up appointment will depend on your answers to the questions the nurse navigator asks. If you are found to be at a very high risk for lung cancer, your follow-up appointment may be a CT lung scan if you decide this is the right step for you.  If you are found not to be at high risk for lung cancer, you may be asked to call the program in one year to see if your personal level of risk for lung cancer has changed.
Not everyone who is between 50 and 74 years old and has smoked for at least 20 years will qualify for a lung CT scan.

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