Early Detection of Lung Cancer Could Save Your Life. 

Screening is when a healthcare provider looks for a disease before symptoms arise. Providers screen for diseases that are easier to treat and potentially cure when detected early. Lung cancer is an example of a disease that does not usually cause noticeable symptoms until the disease is advanced. When lung cancer is detected in its earliest stages, it may be curable. However, when discovered in more advanced stages, lung cancer is often incurable and is the leading cause of cancer related death worldwide.  Stay proactive and discuss your lung cancer screening options with our pulmonary experts at Meliora Healthcare.

What is Lung Cancer Screening? 

Studies have found that yearly chest CT scans in high-risk patients discovered cancers early and saved lives. A CT scan creates a series of x-rays that are aligned by a computer to create a 3D image of your lungs. Low-dose CT (LDCT) scans provide much more detail than an x-ray with safer radiation doses compared to conventional CT scans. This allows your provider to detect nodules and lung masses safely and effectively. Most lung nodules are not cancerous and do not need to be biopsied, but they can be early forms of cancer. At Meliora Healthcare, our pulmonologists will determine whether a biopsy is necessary based on the way it looks on the CT scan as well as your risk factors.

Who should undergo screening?

Lung cancer screening is not for everyone. Screening is performed based on your risk of developing lung cancer, if you would want to undergo additional procedures if a suspicious nodule is found, if you would want to be treated for lung cancer if it was diagnosed, and if you are healthy enough to undergo procedures and treatments if you are diagnosed with lung cancer. In general, you should consider being screened if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are between the ages of 50-80
  • You currently smoke cigarettes or have quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • You smoked the equivalent of 1 pack of cigarettes daily for at least 20 years
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What happens after the CT scan?

One of our skilled pulmonologists will review the results of the scan with you. Typically the recommendation will be either to repeat a CT chest at periodic intervals for close monitoring, get a test called a PET (positron emission tomography), or proceed with a lung biopsy. At Meliora Healthcare, our pulmonologists will determine what the most appropriate course of action is based on the way the nodule looks on the CT scan as well as your risk factors.

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Lung Cancer Screening FAQs

What is the risk associated with a low dose CT scan?

What is the risk of undergoing a biopsy if a suspicious nodule is identified?

What are some of the other risks associated with lung cancer screening?

What is the risk associated with a low dose CT scan?

Current techniques minimize the amount of radiation exposure. The risk is thought to be low when compared to the cancer risk associated with smoking.

What is the risk of undergoing a biopsy if a suspicious nodule is identified?

The risk of bleeding and lung collapse or air leak depends on the type of procedure completed. At Meliora Healthcare, we offer the most technologically advanced and minimally invasive procedures to biopsy lung nodules. Please see our procedure pages on endobronchial ultrasound, electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy and robotic-assisted bronchoscopy for more details.

What are some of the other risks associated with lung cancer screening?

There are times when a patient may experience anxiety associated with discovering a lung nodule that may require a biopsy or more frequent CT scans.

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