Lung cancer is caused by many factors, the most common being smoking. But now there’s good news for people at risk of the disease. A low-dose CT scan can help save their lives.
Low dose CT scans, together with follow-up PET scans, can help remove nodules in the lungs early before they grow and progress. Patients can also avoid the adverse side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
According to statistics, lung cancer death rates are dropping and will continue to do so if people quit smoking. However, former smokers still remain at high risk. Screening for lung cancer is recommended from age 55 for smokers.
Lung cancer often presents nonspecific symptoms. Because lungs have air with a few pain receptors, tumors can grow without showing signs for a long time. Common symptoms include losing weight, coughing up blood, or pain the chest. Early-stage lung cancer is treatable and curable compared to when cancer has reached stages 3 and 4.
A typical CT scan comes with the risk of emitting a small amount of radiation, which, when accumulated over time, your risk of new cancers will be high. The risk of false-positive results can result in more testing recommendations.
A low-dose screening test uses less ionizing radiation, which does not damage cells. The technique has been tested and proven to reduce lung cancer significantly. Its development has revolutionized the way oncologists fight lung cancer.
When tested in clinical trials, a low-dose CT scan reduced the rate of death by between 20% and 60% in lung cancer patients. The low-dose CT screening procedure is quite simple and safe. It only takes only 10 seconds and does not increase the rate of false-positive results.
Smokers who fit the lung cancer screening profile are urged to get the low-dose CT scan. Doing this will ensure you have peace of mind knowing that you can take care of the situation before it’s too late.
Currently, low-dose CT screening is not recommended for non-smokers because there’s no proper way of identifying those who are at high risk to justify their screening.
If you don’t have lung cancer, quitting smoking is the only way you’ll reduce your risks of developing the disease.