AYER — Nashoba Valley Medical Center’s imaging and radiology department provides lung cancer screening to adult patients who are current or former smokers who meet specific criteria.

Lung cancer screening looks for signs of the disease before there are any symptoms in patients who are at high risk by using state-of-the-art computed tomography to take pictures of the lungs to detect potentially treatable lung cancers.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer among both men and women in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. Each year, approximately 160,000 Americans lose their lives to lung cancer.

“Thankfully, we now know more about the disease and its risk factors,” said Nashoba Valley Medical Center Chief Medical Officer and Pulmonologist Amjad Husain, MD. “Exposure to things like asbestos, radon, diesel exhaust, air pollution, and chemicals and toxins found in cigarettes can all lead to lung cancer. While these are not the only causes of lung cancer, avoiding exposure to these harmful substances can decrease someone’s chances of developing the disease.”

Annual lung cancer screening by Low-Dose CT in those that qualify has been proven to reduce the chances of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent. NVMC recommends an annual Low Dose CT screening for men and women who meet the following criteria: between the ages of 55 to 77; asymptomatic with no signs or symptoms of lung cancer, and no major medical problems that would prevent cancer work-up and treatments if discovered during screening; current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 years; or has a tobacco smoking history of 30+ pack years.

Prior to requesting a Low-Dose CT lung cancer screening, a patient should speak with their primary care physician or pulmonologist on whether the test is beneficial. To learn more about Nashoba Valley Medical Center’s Low-Dose CT lung screening program, please call 978-784-9270 or visit