For more than half of adults, the first sign of heart disease is a heart attack. There are some things we do for our families, and other things we do for ourselves. If you are a smoker, here is something you should do for both – a Lung Scan.
Detecting Cancer with the Lung Scan
The Lung Scan, officially termed a Low Dose Lung Screening CT, is a CT scan that uses a small dose of radiation to detect nodules in the lungs. While most nodules are benign, the purpose is to detect those nodules that are or could become cancer. Early detection is critical in treatment and survival from lung cancer. That is why the Lung Scan has garnered broad support from numerous medical societies, including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Lung Association and American Cancer Society. In addition, Medicare has approved Lung Scans for coverage at no cost to the patient.
The Lung Scan is quick—only 10 seconds—and painless as there are no needle sticks or contrast administered.
Lung scans are recommended for:
- Smokers age 55 to 77 years old
- Currently smoking or quit within the last 15 years
- Are asymptomatic
- Have a 30 pack-year history of smoking or more*
*Pack years = # of years you smoked x # of packs smoked per day; for example, if you smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day for 20 years you have a 2 x 20 = 40 pack-year history of smoking. Learn more about calculating your pack years.
If you are a heavy smoker, please talk to your primary care doctor about whether a Lung Scan is right for you. The scan can provide peace of mind for the individual and their family.