Lung cancer screening helps to detect lung cancers in the earliest stages, when they can be more successfully treated, and when survival rates are highest.
Why Lung Cancer Screening?
The symptoms of lung cancer, such as a persistent cough, hoarseness, or chest pain, typically appear once the cancer has advanced. Lung cancer screening helps to catch lung cancer in the earliest stages, when symptoms are not typically present, and when treatment tends to be more effective.
What is a Lung Cancer Screening Exam?
The Association of Alexandria Radiologists performs lung cancer screening exams with low dose CT (LDCT). Lung cancer screening was traditional performed with chest x-ray however, LDCT produces more detailed images that can help radiologists detect very small tumors while minimizing radiation exposure to the patient. In fact, the results of an eight-year trial showed that using CT instead of a traditional chest x-ray to screen for lung cancer reduced cancer deaths from lung cancer by 20% over five years.
Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations
Lung cancer screening is recommended for people who are considered to be at high risk for developing lung cancer. A lung cancer screening exam may be right for you if you have no symptoms of lung cancer and you meet the following criteria:
• You are a man or woman aged 55 to 77
• You currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
• You have a 30 pack year smoking history
How to Calculate Smoking Pack Years
Calculate pack years by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years smoked. For example, smoking 1 pack per day for 1 year equals 1 pack year. Smoking 2 packs per day for 15 years equals 30 pack years. To calculate your pack-years for other types of tobacco, use this simple smoking pack years calculator.
Schedule Your Lung Cancer Screening Exam
A lung cancer screening exam is an accurate and painless way to screen for lung cancer. The Association of Alexandria Radiologists offers this quick and painless exam at Inova Alexandria Hospital, Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. To schedule your appointment, you may call your preferred hospital directly, or request an appointment online.