We offer a life-saving screening for current and former smokers.

FACT: Cecil County has one of Maryland’s highest rates of lung cancer. About 80 of our family members, friends and neighbors are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Source: National Cancer Institute

Union Hospital offers low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans, a powerful tool for detecting cancer at an early stage. These scans are proven to decrease lung cancer deaths by 20 percent.

Low-dose CT scans are offered at the following locations (doctor’s referral required):

Union Hospital
106 Bow Street
Elkton, MD 21921

Open MRI & Imaging Center — Elkton
301 Augustine Herman Highway (RTE 213), Suite A
Elkton, MD 21921

Open MRI & Imaging at Principio
Principio Health Center
4863 Pulaski Highway # 100
Perryville, MD 21903


Answers to questions about low-dose CT scans:

Q: What is a CT scan?

A computed tomography (CT) scan uses special X-ray equipment to make cross-sectional images of the body. CT scans are widely used in diagnosing cancers, broken bones, blood clots and other conditions.

Q: What are the potential benefits of these scans?

For people at high risk of lung cancer, annual CT scans can detect possibly malignant growths before symptoms appear. Early detection improves the chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.

Q: What are the risks of a low-dose CT scan?

The main risk involves your cumulative lifetime exposure to radiation. Your doctor will talk to you about this risk.

Q: What is it like to have this scan?

CT scans are quick, quiet, painless and noninvasive. You will lie still while the scan passes twice over your chest and back, which takes less than 15 minutes. You usually will receive the results in one to two weeks from your referring doctor.

Q: What happens if the scan finds a suspicious growth?

A thoracic surgeon and a pulmonologist will examine the scans and base recommendations on their findings. If the growth is large, the doctors may recommend that it be biopsied. Smaller growths may be left alone for observation.

Q: Does insurance pay for low-dose CT scans?

Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance companies cover the full cost of these scans as part of preventive care benefits for qualified individuals. We encourage you to contact your insurance provider about your plan’s coverage details.

Q: Should I have a low-dose CT scan for lung cancer?

You may benefit from annual screenings with low-dose CT scans for lung cancer if you:

  • Are between ages 55 and 77
  • Are a current smoker or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Have no symptoms or personal history of lung cancer
  • Have a 30 pack-year smoking history (pack years = number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years as a smoker)

This screening requires a doctor’s referral. Talk with your doctor about your lung cancer risk. If appropriate, your doctor can write an order for you to have a low-dose CT scan.

Helpful Links
Learn more about lung health.