If you are a smoker or a former smoker, a simple screening at Southwestern Medical Center could save your life. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and 85% of cases occur in cigarette smokers. Studies show LDCT (low-dose computed tomography) lung scans using low doses of radiation can effectively detect lung cancer in its earliest stages and most importantly, lower your risk of dying from lung cancer.
LDCT works much like an x-ray exam to produce pictures of your chest and lungs. This high-quality lung screening detects lung abnormalities but with 90 percent less ionizing radiation than a conventional CT scan. If you have a high risk of lung cancer but no signs or symptoms, a LDCT screening could help you catch potentially cancerous spots at their earliest and most treatable stage.
You are considered high risk if you are:
- Between the ages of 50 and 77
- Have a smoking history of 20 pack years (1 pack per day for 20 years)
- Currently a smoker or have quit in the last 15 years