Lung Cancer CT Screening
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Screening can increase the chances of detecting many forms of cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat. As part of our comprehensive, team-based approach to providing quality lung care, Firelands Regional Medical Center offers screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) for people at high risk for lung cancer.
What is lung cancer CT screening?
Lung cancer screening uses a CT scan with a low dose of radiation to find lung nodules, some of which may be cancer. In general, lung cancer screening is not a single test but a process that must be done correctly, over time, under the direction of your doctor(s).
Who is eligible for screening?
Lung cancer screening is not for everybody. You qualify for screening if you:
- Are between the ages of 55 and 77
- Have smoked within the last 15 years; and
- Have smoked 30 pack-years or more:
- 1 pack (20 cigarettes) per day for 30 years or
- 2 packs per day for 15 years
What happens at the screening?
You will lie flat on the exam table. Pillows and straps may be used for comfort, to help you maintain the correct position, and to help you remain still during the exam. You will usually be asked to hold your arms over your head. Next, the table will move through the scanner to the correct starting positions for the scans. Then, while you hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds, the table will move through the machine as the actual CT scan is done. The entire process will last approximately 10-15 minutes.
What is the level of radiation exposure from CT?
CT scanning for lung cancer screening uses up to 90% less radiation than a conventional chest CT scan. The approximate effective radiation dose is 2.0 millisievert (mSv), which is equal to about 6 months of "normal" background radiation and has very low risk. In fact, no correlation has been found between background radiation and cancer risk.
See How Early Detection Can Save Lives
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Lung Cancer Cases Diagnosed/Treated at Firelands
All of these patients were either diagnosed and treated at Firelands, diagnosed at Firelands and treated elsewhere, or diagnosed elsewhere and treated at Firelands.