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Lung Cancer Screening

Lung Cancer Screenings From NFMMC

About every two and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer, and every day, lung cancer takes the lives of more than 382 of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones (American Lung Association). One of the best possible ways to treat an illness is to take precautionary measures to both prevent it and catch it early on if it does indeed develop. For this reason, there are a wide variety of different screenings that a person may complete at regular intervals to test for the presence of all kinds of serious illnesses, Lung Cancer being one of the most common.

What’s a Lung Cancer Screening Like?

The entire process is pretty simple. Patients will be asked to complete a LDCT scan, which stands for low-dose computed tomography. This is similar to a regular CT scan, though this particular imaging test is specially designed to use less radiation in order to produce a clear image of the individual’s lungs.

During the scan, you will merely need to lie down on a long table as it slides into a large machine and holds there to create detailed images of your lungs. There will be a technician nearby to talk you through the process and help keep you comfortable while the LDCT scan is completed. This person will likely ask you to inhale deeply and hold your breath for a few moments in order to get a clear visual of the lungs while they are fully inflated.

It is not uncommon for patients to experience a bit of discomfort during the scan, particularly if they fear confined spaces. If such a fear applies to you, be sure to speak with your specialist beforehand about how you can mitigate these symptoms. It helps many to know that the actual scan only lasts for about a minute, making it incredibly quick.

Nationally, only 24% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher (60%). Unfortunately, 46% of cases are not caught until a late stage when the survival rate is only 6% (American Lung Association). Lung screenings are the most effective way to catch diseases like Lung Cancer and COPD early on in their development, even before one starts experiencing symptoms. 

Who Should Complete a Lung Cancer Screening?

Generally, not everyone will require frequent visits to the doctor in order to perform a lung cancer screening. These advanced imaging tests are often best suited for those with unique risk factors that increase their likelihood of developing lung cancer, such as:

  • Current or former smokers
  • Individuals 55 years of age or older
  • Those with COPD
  • Exposure to asbestos for a significant period of time
  • A personal or family history of lung cancer

If you require a screening for lung cancer or would like to discuss your concerns about the condition with a specialist, please contact Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center today. Request an appointment below.

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