New Research Shows Lung Cancer CT Screening Saves Lives

Low Dose CTIt’s a fact. Early detection of lung cancer among high-risk patients saves lives. The results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) sponsored by the National Cancer Institute released in 2011, confirmed that low-dose CT scans improves the survival rate of lung cancer patients by 20%, as compared to standard chest x-rays.

Breathe Easier

THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. for men and women. In fact, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) projects that approximately 200,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with lung cancer each year, and nearly 160,000 will die from the disease. More than half of all lung cancers occur in former smokers. If you meet the NCI guidelines, lung cancer screening CT may be beneficial for you.

ARE YOU A CANDIDATE?

  • A current or former smoker (w/in the past 15 years)
  • Who is between 55 and 74 years of age
  • With a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (1 pack/day for 30 years, 2 packs per day for 15 years, etc.)
  • And no history of lung cancer.

Patients who meet the criteria and do not exhibit typical symptoms of lung cancer (i.e. cough, chest pain, weight loss) are the ideal candidates for low-dose CT lung screening. At this time, only low dose CT scans are recommended for screening. Chest x-rays are not recommended for screening.

WRA OFFERS THE LOWEST RADIATION DOSE IN THE DC AREA

All low-dose CT lung screening exams at WRA are performed using advanced hardware and software technology which calculates the lowest dose of radiation at the optimum image quality. Dose reduction technology at WRA can reduce radiation exposure by as much as 50% as compared to older-generation systems. Additionally, all low-dose CT lung screening exams at WRA are performed by certified technologists. We follow strict quality assurance guidelines and radiation tracking procedures to ensure that patients receive the minimum radiation required. All WRA sites are inspected and accredited by the American College of Radiology.

WHAT TO EXPECT

CT lung screening is painless, noninvasive and does not require an IV or contrast. The entire exam is fast and simple. Once you are called back for your exam, you’ll change clothes and lie on the imaging table. The CT technologist will ask you to hold your breath while the images are taken. The exam is complete in about 20 seconds or one breath-hold.

DOES INSURANCE COVER MY EXAM

Results from the National Lung Screening Trial are so new that health insurance companies and Medicare are not currently covering the cost for lung screening CT. Patients will be asked to pay for this exam and the cost at any WRA facility is $350.

Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women however it is still the most common cause of cancer death. Ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for low dose lung screening CT. For more information or to schedule a low-dose, high resolution CT scan at one of our locations, please call 703-280-9800.

WRA LUNG SCREENING CT LOCATIONS:

WASHINGTON, DC

2141 K Street, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20037
phone 202-223-9722 / fax 202-659-2819

MARYLAND

4445 Willard Avenue, Suite 200
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
phone 301-654-4242 / fax 301-907-7414

VIRGINIA

Lakeside @ Loudoun Tech Center 1
21351 Ridgetop Circle, Suites 100, 150
Sterling, VA 20166
phone 571-434-0140 / fax 571-434-0144

WHY SCREEN FOR LUNG CANCER?

Screening CT for lung cancer is controversial in some respects because of the potential for false positives, unnecessary follow-up procedures, radiation dose and patient anxiety. This debate is now gaining clarity with the latest results of an 8-year NCI study which showed that screening current and former heavy smokers with low-dose CT scanning resulted in 20% fewer deaths from the disease compared with chest x-ray.

This significant research demonstrates that the early detection of lung cancer can decrease lung cancer mortality. The Stage I and II lung cancer five-year survival rate is reported at 22–67%. However the Stage III and IV lung cancer five-year survival is estimated at 1–25%. Most lung cancers are diagnosed at stage III and IV because symptoms do not present earlier. With new research, the life-saving properties of low-dose lung screening CT offer a light of hope for many patients who have the potential to be diagnosed earlier and at the most treatable stage of this disease.

Early stage lung cancer nodule shown on CT scan, too small to be seen on x-ray.

Early stage lung cancer nodule shown on CT scan, too small to be seen on x-ray.