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Six Things You Need to Know About Lung Cancer Screening

It’s a widely known fact that smoking can lead to lung cancer and is the second most common cancer found in men and women around the world. Most importantly, it doesn’t only affect people who have smoked. I have experienced it as my brother is a lung cancer survivor. Screening is used to test or examine in order to find a disease in people who don’t have symptoms. Moreover, regular chest x-rays have been reviewed during lung cancer screening as necessary before availing a Lung Cancer Treatment

Now, I’ll share some of the things you should know about lung cancer screening beforehand:

  • It’s not just my opinion but the fact that lung cancer screening saves lives. Lung cancer screening uses a low-dose CT scan which is a perfect way to detect lung cancer early in people with higher risk. Experts explained to me that for current or former smokers who are between the age of 55 to 74, screening with low-dose CT scans saves lives. So, they suggested that my older brother get lung screening as patients who are screened are 20% less likely to die than people who are not screened.

However, less than 5% of people who are eligible for CT lung cancer screening are choosing to get it done. So, I suggest considering getting lung cancer screening as you can increase the chance of survival. If you’re a current or former smoker, consult your doctor about low-dose CT screening.

  1. Consult with your doctor about whether or not you’re eligible for lung cancer screening, just like how I did for my brother. The first step is knowing if you meet the high-risk criteria for screening. The criteria are according to your age, smoking history, and various other risk factors. It’s essential to keep in mind that your doctor doesn’t necessarily think you have cancer if they recommend a screening test.
  1. If you meet the high-risk criteria, your trusted doctor will do a shared-decision making discussion with your and your family members. It can help you determine whether you want to get lung cancer screening or not. During this conversation, the doctor highlights the benefits and risks associated with lung cancer screening and what you should expect from the entire process.
  1. If you’re eligible for screening and have made up your mind to get the scan, your doctor might write an order for a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan and tell you where to go for your appointment. I recommend you to consult your insurance provider prior to confirming the appointment to see that the scan is covered. Generally, health insurance agencies cover lung cancer screening for people who fit the high-risk criteria. It is always a great idea to connect and confirm the coverage and any out of budget expenses you may need to pay from follow-up processes.
  1. Once you contact specialist, they will tell you how to prepare for your scan. It’s not that challenging to prepare for an LDCT scan. Ensure to tell your doctor if you have a respiratory infection as that might affect the outcomes and an LDCT scan won’t be finished if you’re sick. They’ll tell you to remove any metal you’re wearing such as watches, jewelry, etc. Depending on the center, you may be allowed to be in your regular clothes or may be asked to wear a hospital gown
  1. The scan itself is pain-free and quick; mostly, it takes less than a minute if you ask me. They will help you lie down on the table of the machine, which will slide in and out of the scanner while you stay as still as possible. Also, they may ask you to hold your breath. The expert technologist who operates the scan is there to help you through the entire process

To Sum It Up

After your scan is done, you can normally go on with your day, and your doctor will connect with you once the results arrive. They will discuss recommendations related to Lung Cancer Treatment in the next steps. So, if you have any queries about lung cancer screening, diagnosis, or treatment, get in touch with a reliable doctor around you.

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Eli Richardson

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