Lung Cancer Screening: Are You a Candidate?

Doctor Wearing Surgical Mask Examining Man

When it comes to diagnosing different types of cancers, early detection is vital. Uncovering a condition before it progresses allows the best possible chances for successful treatment. There are a variety of different cancer screening tests doctors now routinely perform to protect their patients. Considering the potential risks and its ranking as one of the most deadly types of cancer, lung cancer screenings should be on this list. At Intermountain Medical Imaging, we are proud to offer this option to our patients. By providing safe, reliable CT lung scan screenings, we can help ensure you get the prompt medical care and treatment you need. The following details what to expect during this test and factors that may make you a good candidate for it.

 

Lung Cancer Screening: 

Radiology plays a central role in preventative screening tests that alert your doctor to problems within the body that could potentially impact your current and long-term health. Lung cancer screening has been around for decades, but in past generations, it consisted primarily of chest x-rays. While these continue to prove useful in helping to diagnose and treat pneumonia and other respiratory conditions, x-rays generally did not detect lung cancer until the disease became more advanced. Unfortunately, this resulted in delays in treatment that put the life and health of the patient at risk.

Lung cancer is one of the most deadly types of cancer. The average five-year survival rate is only 20 percent[1]. Early detection and treatment are particularly important in slowing down this rapidly spreading disease. Today, lung cancer screenings at IMI that use computed tomography, otherwise known as a CT scan, make this possible.

By using a CT lung scan, our radiologists can obtain detailed images of the lungs and assess their appearance as well as current functioning. CT lung scans can often detect tumors and other abnormalities in the early stages, which is when they are most likely to respond to treatment. This can significantly improve not only the survival rate among lung cancer patients but also increase their overall quality of life.

 

Should I Get a Lung Cancer Screening?

Lung cancer is one of the most common and potentially serious types of cancers, with nearly 240,000 new cases diagnosed each year. In the early stages, lung cancer typically shows no obvious symptoms. Without routine testing, this deadly disease can quickly progress. Once symptoms become obvious, the lung cancer has likely become more entrenched and widespread, potentially affecting other body organs and systems. At this point, required treatments are more drastic and have less chance for success.

Early lung cancer screenings can help to prevent this scenario. Anyone can get lung cancer, but there are definite factors that increase your risks[2] and make getting a lung cancer screening more critical. If you meet any of the following criteria, you should consider speaking to your doctor about scheduling a CT lung scan at IMI:

  • Are between 55 and 77 years old
  • Currently, smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Have, at minimum, a 30+ pack-year smoking history (i.e., one pack a day for 30 years, two packs per day for 15 years, and so on) Pack Years Calculator
  • Are asymptomatic (without signs or symptoms of lung cancer such as chest pain, unintended weight loss, hemoptysis (coughing up of blood) or active pneumonia)

These are not ordinary times, and IMI is here for you. Our facilities are open, clean, and safe for those needing non COVID-19 imaging during this time. Lung Cancer Screening is essential, and while some groups may elect to wait, not everyone should. If there are special needs or additional considerations for our lung cancer screening patients,  we will find a way to accommodate.

 

How Should I Prepare for a Lung Cancer Screening?

At IMI, our lung cancer screenings can be obtained through a referral from your doctor after you have completed a face-to-face, shared decision-making visit with your provider to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. Once you schedule an appointment, there is little advance preparation needed. As with any testing, you should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing on the day of your appointment. While you should plan on devoting an hour of your time, the scan itself is quick and painless, with no lingering effects.

Once completed, our radiologists will thoroughly review your results, and we will send a report to your doctor. Your provider will then discuss the results with you and recommend any additional tests or treatments needed.

 

Let Us Help You Today

At Intermountain Medical Imaging, we have been a leader in providing preventative testing and cancer screenings to people throughout the Boise area for more than 20 years. To find out more about lung cancer screening, call or contact our offices online today.

 

[1] https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/lungb.html

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/screening.htm

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