Lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. Most times, lung cancer does not produce symptoms until it is more advanced and treatment options are limited. The key is finding lung cancer in its early stages, which increases treatment options and survival rates.

A lung screening computed tomography (CT) scan should be a regular preventive health check, just like a mammogram or colonoscopy. Lung screenings are fairly simple with no need for preparation, undressing or uncomfortable exams. A low dose CT scan offers less radiation than traditional CT scans, and they produce higher-quality images for physicians.

If you are a current smoker or former smoker and are between 50-80 years old, call (423) 493-2400 to discuss how a low dose CT (LDCT) lung screening can benefit you.

If a higher level of care is needed, the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Parkridge Medical Center offers the most advanced treatment options in fighting cancer.

Robotic bronchoscopy in Chattanooga

The goal of robotic bronchoscopy is to help doctors see and get to small and hard-to-reach nodules in parts of the lung.

How robotic bronchoscopy works

This innovative technology aims to help doctors achieve a more accurate diagnosis of lung nodules, which means patients can begin treatment earlier. The technology combines robotics, software, data science and endoscopy (the use of small cameras and tools to enter the body through its natural openings).

Robotic bronchoscopy technology uses a familiar controller-like piece of equipment physicians use to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope into the lung. The procedure allows physicians to see throughout the entire procedure.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, in part because it has no symptoms in its early stages. Since robotic bronchoscopy provides advanced reach, vision and control for bronchoscopic procedures, it holds the potential to help us to make a diagnosis earlier,” said Minerva Covarrubias, MD, a board-certified pulmonologist at Parkridge Medical Center who has extensively trained on the technology. “We are excited about the promise of this technology to offer a more hopeful future for our patients with lung cancer.”

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 80 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive the disease, in part because it is often found at an advanced stage.

For more information, contact Parkridge Medical Group-Specialty at (423) 698-2435 or go to

Lung screening frequently asked questions

Yearly lung screening with low-dose CT scan has shown to save lives by finding lung cancer early, when it is easier to treat. The frequently asked questions below will address the most common questions we hear from patients.

For more information, please call (423) 493-2400. Please note we will need an order from your physician before your exam.

What is the goal of lung screening?

The goal of lung screening is to identify cancer at an early stage. Without screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms. At that time, the cancer is much harder to treat.

Who should get a lung screening?

Lung screening is recommended for the following people who are at higher risk for lung cancer:

  • People between 50 and 80 years old
  • People who have smoked an average of one pack a day for 20 years. This includes people who still smoke or have quit within the last 15 years.

I am a high-risk individual but have been diagnosed with cancer in the past. Is lung screening appropriate for me?

It depends. In some cases, lung screening will not be appropriate, such as when your doctor is following your cancer with CT scans. Your doctor will help determine if lung screening is right for you.