Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, 25% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. are a result of lung cancer . As with all other types of cancer, early screenings are key to both the detection and treatment of the disease. A quick and painless lung CT scan can play a crucial role in catching lung cancer and other abnormalities earlier for better treatment options.
What Is a Lung CT Scan and How Does It Work?
A lung CT scan, short for computed tomography, is a type of radiographic scan that uses x-ray technology to create internal images of the chest. The scan involves a specialized machine that takes multiple images of your lungs, known as slices. These slices are then put together to form a full picture of your lungs for radiologists to evaluate.
CT scans offer more in-depth and detailed views of the inside of the body when compared to typical x-rays. In particular, a low-dose CT scanner uses a minimal amount of radiation to produce high-quality images, giving radiologists a clear view of any abnormalities in the lungs. The scan itself only takes about 10 seconds with the full exam lasting about 15 minutes.
What Can the Lung CT Scan Reveal?
Lung cancer typically goes undetected until it reaches stage 3 or 4. This is because there are very few symptoms related to the condition until it gets to an advanced level. During a scan, images of your chest will provide radiologists and doctors with a clear view of the health of your lungs.
High-quality CT imaging can reveal things like:
Collections of abnormal lung tissue
All of these things could be an early indication of lung cancer or a sign that lung cancer is already present. When detected early, you have a much better chance of successfully treating lung cancer.
As a preventative measure, many people are choosing to have a lung CT scan done to rule out any issues. If you are at high risk for lung cancer, you should consider an early screening to be more proactive about your health and to catch abnormalities as early as possible.
What are the Benefits of a Lung CT Scan?
It can be all too easy to ignore the small, subtle signs your body is telling you. You might have recurrent chest pain or a troubling cough that doesn’t seem to go away. You might even cough up blood or deal with difficulty breathing. Rather than continue to live in uncertainty, a lung CT scan is a quick and easy way to take control of your health so you can take steps towards a healthier future.
Benefits of a preventative lung CT scan include:
Early detection of lung cancer means more treatment options
An excellent tool for people at high risk for lung cancer
The scan is quick, painless and noninvasive
CT imaging is detailed and accurate and can reveal the smallest of abnormalities
CT scans do not require sedation or medication
Can give you peace of mind after your lung screening
A low-dose SOMATOM go.All CT scanner means less risk for patients
Other than lung cancer, there may also be other issues that are causing you to have recurrent symptoms. The scan can also help identify infections, lesions, scarring, disease and blockages without invasive testing or surgery.
Who Should Have a Lung CT Screening?
Certain factors can put someone at risk for developing lung disease or cancer. As you age, you may become more prone to developing these conditions, and it’s often recommended that you screen for lung cancer once you reach the age of 55. Because of the lower levels of radiation and the ease of the actual process, a low-dose lung CT scan is ideal for almost every patient.
Some of the reasons to consider having a lung CT scan done include,
You’re a smoker or were a regular smoker for a long time
You vape or used to vape
You’re over the age of 55
You’re obese or have diabetes
You have a family history of lung disease or cancer
You quit smoking within the last 15 years
You’ve been experiencing chest pain, breathing problems or persistent cough
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended that you get an annual lung CT scan if you have a history of heavy smoking, are still smoking or have quit within the last 15 years, and are between the ages of 55 and 80 years old, which puts you in the high-risk category for lung cancer .
Low-Dose Lung CT Scans at Preventative Diagnostic Center
Disease and cancer screenings are critical in terms of putting a stop to a problem and preventing it from getting worse. Knowledge is power when it comes to your health, and the sooner you know, the better.
At the Preventative Diagnostic Center in Las Vegas, we offer low-dose lung CT scans that are easy, quick and noninvasive with our specialized SOMATOM go.All CT scanner. By becoming aware of the status of your lung health, you can take steps towards a healthier future through better choices and informed decisions. Contact our office today to schedule your preventative lung CT scan.
Dr. John J. Pierce is the Medical Director at Preventative Diagnostic Center. He is Board-certified in Emergency Medicine as well as Board-certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He received his medical training from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, in Pomona California. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition to his regular practice, Dr. Pierce serves as a Tactical Physician with the Las Vegas SWAT team.