Should you be screened for lung cancer?

Low-dose CT scanning is used to screen adults who are at high risk for developing lung cancer, improving early detection and the chances of curing the disease.

Annual lung cancer screening is recommended for people between 50 and 80 years old who are current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years, have no symptoms of lung cancer, and have at least a 20 pack-year smoking history (smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years).

The non-invasive, painless lung CT scan uses a series of low-dose X-rays and computer processing to create detailed images of the lungs that a radiologist examines to detect cancer. The scan takes only a few minutes and does not require contrast agent.

In the United States, lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the leading cause of death from cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

“With the advanced capability of CT technology, the high-resolution images obtained during this exam help us identify small tumors in early stages, which allows patients to be treated with promising survival rates and before cancer spreads to other parts of the body,” said Alex Steever, M.D., director of CT and MRI services at Washington Radiology.

Patients need a physician’s order to undergo a lung screening CT scan. Speak with your health care provider to determine if this exam is right for you. To schedule an appointment with Washington Radiology, call 571-388-2754.

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