Screening for Lung Cancer

Screening for Lung Cancer

Author: Dr. Adriane Gianlupi

It is recommended that patients with a significant history of smoking should undergo a low dose radiation chest CT screening every year to be able to diagnose lung cancer in its early stage.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide in both men and women.

Often the symptoms typical of lung cancer such as cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing up blood only appeared when the cancer is in its late/advanced stages.  At that point, the cancer is no longer curable. Therefore, early diagnosis, before symptoms develop, is very important to be able to cure lung cancer.

A study called the National Lung Screening Trial showed that a yearly Chest CT in patients at high risk of developing lung cancer allows for an early diagnosis and, thus, allows for effective treatments and cure.

Patients who are eligible for this life saving low dose lung screening chest CT are:

  • Men and women ages 55 to 77 years old
  • With a history of moderate to heavy smoking, for example, at least 1 pack of cigarettes/day for 30 years
  • Current smokers and those who have stopped smoking within the past 15 years

If you meet the above qualifications, you should undergo a yearly chest CT screening. Please contact your primary care provider or a lung doctor (Pulmonologist) to discuss the risks and benefits of the test and schedule if appropriate.