In the United States alone, approximately 228,150 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed per year. Lung cancer also accounts for 13% of all new cancer diagnoses in Americans. And while the majority of cases develop in those who have smoked cigarettes, nobody is truly immune to the disease. But if lung cancer is caught early, there’s a higher chance for success in treatment. That’s why Hunterdon Radiological Associates urges our patients and those in the community to take advantage of the lung screening CT scans we offer. Here’s a breakdown of what a lung screening entails.
What is a lung screening?
A lung screening is a precautionary form of testing that enables doctors to detect tumors as early as possible, giving patients the best possible outcome should they develop the disease. Currently, the only recommended type of lung screening comes in the form of a low-dose computed tomography test, also known as a CT scan.
At Hunterdon Radiological Associates, our state-of-the-art technology is able to pinpoint a lesion as small as a grain of rice, allowing doctors to catch lung cancer in its earliest stages. Without lung screening CT scans, tumors can grow as large as an orange before being detected, as traditional x-rays lack the detection ability that CT scans offer.
Who should undergo a lung screening?
It is highly recommended for those who have never had lung cancer, as well as those who are not showing symptoms but are at high risk. You should consider a lung screening CT if the following lung cancer risk factors apply to you:
- Family history of lung cancer
- History of heavy smoking of an average of one pack per day in your lifetime
- Current tobacco smoker or former smoker who quit within the last 15 years
- Personal or family history of other chronic lung diseases
- Exposure to cancer-causing radon, asbestos, or other agents
- Between the ages of 55 and 80
What happens during a lung screening?
Before your lung screening CT scan begins, your radiologist will instruct you to lie down on a table, usually flat on your back. You’ll then be asked to lift your arms over your head. In some situations, traps and pillows are used to help patients stay in the correct position for the duration of the exam.
The screening itself is painless and takes only a few minutes. When your CT scan begins, the table will move through the machine as the radiologist directs you to hold your breath for five to 10 seconds at a time. During this time, low doses of radiation are used to generate detailed images of your lungs.
Because “Good Enough” Simply Isn’t
When you’re ready to schedule your lung screening CT scan, look no further than the board-certified physicians and technologists at Hunterdon Radiological Associates. We accept all insurances and offer two convenient locations in Annandale and Flemington in New Jersey. For more information, contact us today.