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Lung Cancer Screening Information for Healthcare Providers

Here we provide links to tools and information for healthcare providers to support screening through the Ontario Lung Screening Program.

Who to Refer for Lung Cancer Screening

Current and former smokers ages 55 to 74 may be referred to the program if they have smoked cigarettes daily for at least 20 years (not necessarily 20 years in a row, which means there could be times when they did not smoke).

Not everyone who meets the referral inclusion criteria will be eligible for lung cancer screening in the program.

See the Referral Form & Criteria page for details.

Recommended Screening Test

Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) recommends using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) through an organized cancer screening program to screen people at high risk of getting lung cancer. For the evidence and rationale behind this recommendation, see “Why is low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) used for lung cancer screening for people at high risk of getting lung cancer?” on the Ontario Lung Screening Program Frequently Asked Questions for Healthcare Providers page.

Radiology Quality Assurance Processes

With guidance from a multidisciplinary expert panel, Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) led the development of a radiology quality assurance program, which outlines the requirements for all Ontario Lung Screening Program site hospitals. This program requires Ontario Lung Screening Program site hospitals to ensure that all screening LDCT scans are reported using a standardized radiology template based on the American College of Radiology’s Lung-RADS® classification system.

The Lung-RADS® classification system is a quality assurance tool designed to :

  • standardize lung cancer screening computed tomography (CT) reporting and management recommendations
  • reduce confusion in lung cancer screening CT interpretations
  • facilitate monitoring of participant outcomes

Lung-RADS® minimizes the risks of potentially harmful and possibly unnecessary follow-up scans or invasive diagnostic testing.

Resources for Suspected Lung Cancer

Screening is not appropriate for people with suspected lung cancer. If someone has lung cancer symptoms, follow the Program in Evidence-Based Care guidelines for referral of suspected lung cancer and our lung cancer diagnosis pathway.

Smoking Cessation Resources

Healthcare providers and organizations can refer people to Health811 for smoking cessation support by faxing referrals to 1-877-356-1691. People can also contact the following services directly for support:

To find links to quit smoking resources for the public, see Screening for Lung Cancer.

For More Information

For more information about organized lung cancer screening in Ontario, please see the Ontario Lung Screening Program Frequently Asked Questions for Healthcare Providers.

If you are looking for lung cancer screening guidance, tools or information that you don’t see here, please send us an email.