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If you have ever smoked, a few minutes could save your life

Hospital news | Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Prairie du Chien, WI - November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to raise awareness for the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

To help combat lung cancer in the region, Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien offers lung cancer screenings, a CT scan that uses x-rays to make detailed cross-sectional images of the body. Instead of taking one picture, like a regular x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around an individual while they lie on a table. A computer then combines these pictures into images of slices of the part of the lungs. CT scans are more likely to show lung tumors than routine chest x-rays. They can also show the size, shape, and position of any lung tumors and can help find enlarged lymph nodes that might contain cancer that has spread from the lung.

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.

If you meet the following criteria, you are considered to be at “high risk” for developing lung cancer and screening is recommended:

  • Must be 55 to 80 years old
  • At least a 30-pack-year smoking history (or equivalent, such as two packs a day for 15 years)
  • An active smoker or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Be in relatively good health with no symptoms of lung cancer

Individuals who fit the lung cancer screening criteria should talk with their primary care provider about scheduling a low-dose CT scan. Screening for lung cancer may save lives.