Lung cancer screening guidelines

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The CDC ranks lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, with cigarette smoking as the number one cause of lung cancer. Although many lung cancers are found in the late stages, making it more difficult to treat, the good news is there is a screening that can increase the likelihood of an early diagnosis and better outcomes.

Individuals who are at high risk can qualify for a low-dose CT lung screening. This screening is a CT image of the lungs that uses a lower amount of radiation than a standard CT scan.

When detected early, lung cancer patients have more treatment options and a far greater chance of survival. While it is very important to begin screening, it is equally as important to continue screening at regular intervals.

You could be a candidate for a lung screening if you:

  • Are between the ages of 50 and 77
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Are a former heavy smoker who has quit within the past 15 years
  • Are still smoking and have a 20+ pack-year tobacco smoking history (pack-years formula: number of years smoked x average number of packs per day = pack years)
  • Have not had a chest CT in the past 12 months

The Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Port Huron offers low-dose CT scans for lung cancer screenings. An order from your physician is required to schedule the screening. To receive an order for the screening, patients must meet with their physician to discuss potential risks, benefits, further work-up, and annual follow-up as a result of the low-dose CT scan. Talk with your physician to see if you are a candidate for the screening.

For more information about low-dose CT lung cancer screening, call our Oncology Nurse Navigator at 810-989-1003.