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Northwestern Medicine physician Ankit Bharat, MD, sitting at his computer station talking to an adult male patient.

In the U.S., up to 20% of lung cancers are found in people who have never smoked or who have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. Our mission is to cure lung cancer through early detection and treatment.

Typically, you have to meet national guidelines for a lung screening. However, people who do not meet these guidelines may still benefit from a screening. As a first of its kind, the Friends and Family Lung Cancer Screening Program is here to help. When a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer and has friends or family that could benefit from a screening, based on social, environmental or genetic factors our program can help.

We may refer you to our lung cancer screening program or, for those who qualify, perform a low-dose CT scan, based on your risk factors.

What Is Lung Cancer Screening?

Lung cancer screening typically involves a low-dose CT scan of your chest. If our team finds any lung nodules of concern, they will guide you through the next steps. This may involve continued observation or biopsy.

Potential Risk Factors for Lung Cancer:

  • History of smoking
  • Personal history of lung cancer
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or emphysema
  • Exposure to
    • Asbestos
    • Radon
    • Air pollution
    • Secondhand smoke

Learn more about lung cancer and potential risk factors.

If you are interested in participating in the Canning Thoracic Institute Friends and Family Lung Cancer Screening Program, here is what you can expect:

  • Call 312.695.3800 to talk with our staff about an appointment. If you meet the criteria our staff will schedule you for an initial telehealth consultation appointment.
  • At the time of your telehealth consultation, you will speak to a provider who specializes in lung cancer. The provider will review your medical history and determine what tests, if any, need to be ordered.
  • Once any testing has been completed, you will have a follow up telehealth appointment to review the results and if needed, we will work with you on a plan of care.


To request an appointment with the Friends and Family Lung Cancer Screening Program, please call 312.695.3800.

Have you been diagnosed with a lung nodule or lung cancer?

Learn about the Northwestern Medicine Lung Nodule Program and Northwestern Medicine A-PLUS Program, a state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment program which offers minimally-invasive, outpatient lung cancer surgery.