Lung cancer screening
The American Lung Association states that approximately 9 million people in the U.S. are at high risk for lung cancer and are eligible for screening. If you smoked, this new lung cancer screening could save your life.
At Crossing Rivers Health, we understand that detecting cancer early is key in saving lives. We are proud to provide this technology - right here, close to home.
Take the quiz to see if you should get screened.
Why get screened?
Lung cancer is the #1 leading cause of cancer-related death in America. This screening is used to detect lung cancer early, when it is more likely curable. If the disease is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years improves from 11 percent to 55 percent.*
*Based on early-stage lung cancer stats (stage 1 vs. stage 4)
How is the screening performed?
A low-dose CT scan is a special kind of X-ray that takes multiple pictures as you lie on a table that slides in and out of the machine. A computer then combines these images into a detailed picture of your lungs.
A study on early detection of lung cancer found that only the low-dose CT scan can reduce mortality for those at high risk. If you’re a current or former smoker over the age of 55, you could be at risk.
Is lung cancer screening right for me?
Q: Am I a candidate for lung cancer screening?
A: If you meet the following criteria, you are considered to be at "high risk" for developing lung cancer and screening is recommended:
- 55-80 years of age
- Have a 30 pack-year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
- AND, are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years At this time, there is not enough evidence to show that screening is recommended for other groups.
Q: How can I reduce my lung cancer risk if I am not a candidate for screening?
A: The best way to reduce your risk is to take steps to avoid exposure to the dangerous substances most likely to cause lung cancer.
- The best way is to never smoke or stop smoking now. If you smoke, talk to your provider or contact the Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA) about ways to help you quit. Visit Lung.org/stop-smoking for more information.
- Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Test your home for radon, an odorless gas that causes lung cancer. Radon can be found in any home. If your home tests high for radon, take steps to repair your home to remove the radon. A certified radon contractor can fix the problem. Learn more at Lung.org/radon.
- Make sure you are safe around hazardous materials in the workplace and at home.
Q: Should I get an low-dose CT (LDCT) scan to screen for lung cancer?
A: If you are at high risk, talk with your provider about getting an LDCT scan to screen for lung cancer.
Screening for lung cancer may save your life. Discuss your complete health history and ask for a clear explanation about the possible benefits and risk.
There are some risks and not everyone should be screened for lung cancer. Only low-dose CT scans are recommended for screening. Chest x-rays are not recommended for lung cancer screening.
Q: What happens if I choose to get an LDCT scan for lung cancer?
A: There is some radiation risk with an LDCT scan and you may need to have additional tests and procedures. Our team will clearly explain the procedure to you and share the risks and benefits of the screening. We will also discuss what the results can mean and how we will follow up with you after the initial screening.
Q: What do the results mean?
A: A "positive" result means that the low-dose CT scan shows something abnormal. This is usually a nodule of a concerning size. You may need to have additional scans or other procedures to find out exactly what it is. Our team will discuss the next steps with you.
A "negative" result means there were no abnormal findings at this time on this scan. Our team will talk with you about when and if you should be tested again.
There may also be an "indeterminate" result and your doctor may recommend watchful follow-up and further imaging at a later time. The best way to reduce your lung cancer risk is to never smoke or stop smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit.