Desert Radiology Educates on Lung CT Screenings in Observance of Lung Cancer Awareness Month
At Desert Radiology, we’re always looking for new ways to build awareness about our procedures for the benefit of our patient’s health and well-being. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and our mission this month is to educate patients on the importance of lung CT scans and the benefits they provide to those who are at risk of lung cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among men and women, making up 25% of cancer deaths each year. Additionally, more people die from lung cancer than of colon, prostate and breast cancers combined each year. We think Lung Cancer Awareness Month provides a great opportunity to discuss lung CT scans and how they can help diagnose and treat lung cancer before it’s too late.
Computed Tomography, alternatively known as CT or CAT scan is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging exam used to create detailed cross-sectional images of soft tissues, organs, bones and blood vessels. Lung Screening CT provides detailed and comprehensive images compared to a traditional Chest X-Ray, making it an ideal procedure for detecting and treating early signs of lung cancer and other lung-based abnormalities.
Lung CT screenings are most often used to detect pulmonary nodules, a collection of abnormal tissue in the lungs. Our lung CT scans can detect pulmonary nodules in the lungs that may be early manifestations of cancer before any physical symptoms develop, resulting in a more comprehensive and faster treatment for early-stage lung cancer.
While some pulmonary nodules are cancerous, there are pulmonary nodules that are benign. These benign nodules are present in many patients and are often a result of prior lung infections. Benign pulmonary nodules do not always mean a patient is in early stages of lung cancer; however, if benign pulmonary nodules are detected, patients will be asked to return for future lung CT screenings to monitor any growth in the pulmonary nodules. Further diagnostic testing is available if the pulmonary nodules continue to grow.
The Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) recommends Lung Screening CT for patients that have a family history of lung cancer, a 20 pack-year or more smoking history, are current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years and are between 50 and 80 years old. A patient’s pack-year can be determined by multiplying the number of years they have smoked by the number of packs smoked per day.
Desert Radiology strives to inform patients of the benefits of our procedures whenever possible. Lung cancer is treatable and shows a high cure rate if caught in the early stages. If you or someone you know might be at risk of lung cancer, we recommend scheduling a Lung Screening CT.