According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer among both men and women in the United States. Helen Newberry Joy Hospital now has the ability to screen for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).
The goal of screening is to detect disease at its earliest and most treatable stage. During a screening, CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple, cross-sectional images or pictures of the inside of the body. Because CT scans are able to detect even very small nodules in the lung, LDCT of the chest is especially effective for diagnosing lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.
The benefits to the patient are that CT is fast, which is important for patients who have trouble holding their breath, and the scanning is painless and noninvasive. Helen Newberry Joy Hospital Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine physician, Jeffrey Washington, explains, “Now, we have guidelines for those who are at a high risk of developing lung cancer and should be screened.
If you are aged 55 to 74 years and have a smoking history equivalent to a pack a day for 30 years, and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, you are a good candidate for screening.” Patients who may have questions about lung cancer screenings should consult their physicians.
For more information about the screening process, call the HNJH Diagnostic Imaging Department at 906.293.9237