Low Dose CT Chest Lung Cancer Screening
Those at Risk
Lung cancer risk rises greatly in patients who have smoked more than 20 pack years. This means a pack a day for twenty years or two packs a day for ten years. Despite cessation of smoking the risk never returns to zero. It is for this population that CT screening is suggested.
It is generally accepted that routine yearly chest x-ray screening for Lung Cancer has had little impact on early lung cancer detection. Either a tumor is seen when it is already too large to remove, or it has spread microscopically.
Recently, there has been evidence that abnormalities found on yearly Chest CT scans may represent lung tumors in their earliest stages. By following these areas closely, the thought is that a tumor can be detected at a stage when it is removable, and hopefully, curable.
In a sizable minority of patients, small, non-specific abnormalities are found. Of these abnormalities only a minority turn out to represent early cancer. However, by carefully following these areas with serial repeat scans, the chance of a cure is enhanced by early detection.
*Physician prescription will be required to perform this procedure.