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Low-dose CT lung screening can reduce lung cancer risks

With the completion of the randomized National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), evidence shows that screening with low-dose CT scans can reduce lung cancer mortality risk in individuals who have smoked 30 pack-years or more. In the trial, a reduction of 20 percent in lung cancer mortality was observed.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in men and women. An estimated 225,000-plus cases were diagnosed in 2012 and 160,000 deaths are expected in 2013.  Since lung cancer is typically diagnosed at more advanced stages, early screening is important. Medical experts estimate that early screenings save thousands of lives a year.

The benefits of early diagnosis mean:

  • Lung cancer treatment can be started sooner
  • There is an increased opportunity for less traumatic treatment
  • The risk for death from cancer is reduced

The new screening test is a low-dose CT scan which produces a 3-D image of the lungs. It is one of the most effective ways to detect early-stage lung cancer for high-risk patients.

Do you qualify?

  • Age 50 – 54: Individuals who have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years and have one additional risk – radon exposure, occupational exposure, cancer history, family history of lung cancer, COPD or pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Age 55 – 74: Individuals who smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years, as well as those who quit smoking during the past 15 years.

Talk with your primary care physician if you don’t fit a criterion for screening because of your age or tobacco use, but feel you may be at risk. Discussion should include risks and benefits as screening involves low-dose exposure to radiation.

Summa offers CT lung screening at nine convenient locations in Medina, Summit and Portage counties. Find out more about the low-dose CT Lung Screening test and Summa’s nationally-recognized cancer treatment program.

If you wish to schedule an appointment for a CT lung screening, please call (888) 412-8818. Patients will need a physician order the day of their appointment for the screening. If you need a physician, call us at (888) 412-8818.