Lung cancer screening is a test that looks for the disease early on before symptoms appear. People between the ages of 50 and 80 who have smoked 20 packs per year should think about being screened annually. Low-dose CT scanning is used for the screening. It is fast, painless, and could well save your life.
Who needs to be screened for lung cancer?
Anyone who satisfies all of the following requirements ought to be screened for lung cancer annually, according to the recommendations:
- Between 50 and 80 years old.
- Currently smoking or recently quitting smoking.
- Smok 20 packs a year over the past year.
- A 20-pack-year smoking history entails 20 years of daily smoking of a pack (20 cigarettes).
The number of years you’ve smoked is multiplied by the amount of packs you smoke each day to determine your “pack-years.” A person with a 30-pack-year smoking history would have smoked two packs a day for 15 years.
If you satisfy all of these requirements for its screening, consult your doctor. They can direct you to your institution’s lung cancer screening program or give you an order for a low-dose CT and let you know where to receive the test. You should also give your health insurance provider a call to find out if they will pay for the scan. Ask your healthcare provider about free or inexpensive screenings if you don’t have insurance.
When should someone cease screening for lung cancer?
You may stop lung cancer screening if any:
- If the test reveals lung cancer, develop a health condition that would prohibit you from receiving treatment.
- I’ve been smoke-free for almost 15 years.
- Turn 81.
What takes place during a lung cancer examination?
Inside the CT scanner, the table you are resting on will progressively move. The machine is substantial and a donut shape. It circles your entire body in order to get several images of your lungs from all directions.
The entire scan will be conducted in conversation with an imaging professional. It’s crucial to lay completely motionless.
A few minutes are all that the scan needs. It is absolutely painless and doesn’t need an injection or sedative of any kind (medication to relax you). Once the scan is complete, you can return to work or go home.
Has screening for lung cancer had any risks?
The screening for it exposes the patient to some radiation. However, it’s a negligible amount much less than a typical CT scan. This test is known as a “low-dose” CT because of this. It is safe for you to get the scan each year if you have a high risk of developing lung cancer.
Other dangers include:
Positive errors: Your lungs might contain something that the scan discovers but isn’t cancer.
Unexpected finds: The scan capture images of your whole body, not just your lungs. The images may thus reveal further health issues. This is sometimes advantageous if the issue demands attention. But since they necessitate more testing, accidental discoveries may sometimes be upsetting.
When will I find out how my lung cancer screening turned out?
The time it takes to get the result of a lung cancer test might differ. Your healthcare physician and a radiologist evaluate your scan together. Find out from your doctor when you may anticipate the findings.
What if my lung scan results are positive?
You could require further imaging tests if your healthcare professional determine that anything on your scan is abnormal. A biopsy can also be required. During a biopsy, tissue from your lungs is used to determine whether you have cancer. Your healthcare professional will go over the following measure with you if lung cancer is discovered.
Lung cancer screening is a reliable and safe method of identifying the disease when it’s still treatable. A low-dose CT imaging scan is used throughout the screening to get precise images of your lungs. Only those at high risk for it owing to their age and smoking history should be screened.