A Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Could Save Your Life!
What You Need To Know
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among both men and women. Majority of lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking and usually not detected until symptoms develop. By that time, the disease is often more advanced, making a cure much less likely.
Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) provides earlier detection, when lung cancer is most treatable and curable. It works much like an x-ray to produce images of your chest and lungs. The National Lung Screen Trial (NLST) findings reveal that those who receive LDCT had a 15-20% lower risk of dying from lung cancer than those that received standard chest X-rays. If you have a high risk of lung cancer but no signs or symptoms, a LDCT screening could help you catch potentially cancerous spots at their earliest and most treatable stage.
What's My Risk?
You are considered High Risk if you are:
- A current or former smoker age 55-77 AND you have a 30 pack per year history
- Older than 50 with a 20+ pack per year history plus:
- Radon or occupational carcinogen exposure (asbestos, arsenic, diesel fumes, etc.)
- Family history of lung cancer
- COPD or pulmonary fibrosis
- Personal history of lung cancer, lymphoma, or head, neck, throat cancer
Should I be screened?
Discuss your medical history, the risks of screening and benefits with your physician. Your docotr will help you decide if screening is right for you based on your age, smoking history, and other factors and will recommend a lung screening if necessary.
Is Screening Covered by My Insurance?
In order to be covered by Medicare, you must visit your physician and have an order. Many private health insurers provide coverage as well. Talk to your doctor or your insurance provider for specific coverage information.
What You Can Do
- If you are a smoker, STOP SMOKING.
- Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke
- Make your home and work environment smoke-free.
- Test your home for radon.
- Be aware of industrial compounds.
If you are still smoking, talk to your physician about ways to help you quit.
For more information on lung cancer screening, call 252.399.8900.
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