Lung Cancer Screening
What is a CT Lung Screening?
CT lung screening is a low-radiation dose scan that allows the radiologist to see the location, nature, and extent of many different diseases or abnormalities within the lungs. The screening uses CT scans to detect lung cancer at an early stage, when treatment can be more effective.
Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death, behind heart disease. Most lung cancer patients with an advanced staging of the disease carry a 5-year survival rate of less 20%. However, with a CT lung screening, pulmonary nodules can be detected early, and the 5-year survival rate is increased significantly.
Who should get a CT Lung screening?
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says patients who answer yes to the following questions are eligible for a CT lung cancer screening:
- Are you a current or former smoker?
- Are you between the ages of 50 and 80?
- Did you smoke two packs a day for 10 years or one pack a day for 20 years?
A physician’s order is required for the scan, ensuring that the results and any necessary follow-up care are discussed.
What will the exam be like?
Patients will lie comfortably on the CT exam table. The table will move slowly into the CT scanner. The X-ray tube will move around as it captures images. A CT scan usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.