March 7, 2017

At-Risk Lung Cancer Patients Have Better Chance at Early Detection with LDCT Screening

Despite the deadly nature of lung cancer, screening methods have rarely been discussed or promoted. Fortunately, that has changed with the introduction of low-dose CT (LDCT) lung screening. Now patients who are at risk for lung cancer have a better chance at early detection.

The LDCT lung screening is a fast, low-dose CT scan of the lungs. The term “low dose” refers to the dosage of radiation emitted during the scan. This screening method uses only a quarter of the radiation a standard CT uses.

Should you get screened for lung cancer? 

Lung cancer screening is not appropriate for everyone. Do you smoke and possibly meet the following criteria?

  • Between the age of 55-77
  • Have no symptoms of lung cancer
  • Are currently smoking or quit within the past 15 years
  • Have a 30 “pack year” history of smoking

*A “pack year” is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years you have smoked.

Then, Mission Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, now available at numerous locations throughout the region, might be the right fit for you.

Mission Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program offers those with a high risk of lung cancer the opportunity to screen for and diagnose lung cancer before symptoms develop.

Why get screened for lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths – more than cancers of the breast, prostate, colon and pancreas combined. A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showed that screening people at high risk for lung cancer with LDCT scans reduced lung cancer deaths by 20 percent.

What does it mean to enter a screening program?

It is important to get screened yearly until age 77. Mission Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program allows you to track your results and helps manage your yearly screenings.

What if I have an abnormal finding?

Each abnormal finding is reviewed by a dedicated team of healthcare professionals. You and your doctor will be notified of any abnormal results, and your physician will discuss those results with you.

What if we find something that is not cancer?

CT scans may pick up things such as emphysema, infections or calcifications of the coronary arteries. These abnormal findings will be reported to you doctor.

What can I do to decrease my risk of cancer?

Stop smoking. Quitting smoking also decreases your risk of other non-cancer causes of mortality in smokers such as cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Please talk to your doctor or call (828) 213-5527 if you would like more information about quitting smoking.

Locations that offer low-dose CT lung cancer screenings:

  • Angel Medical Center – Franklin, NC
  • Blue Ridge Regional Hospital – Spruce Pine, NC
  • Highlands-Cashiers Hospital – Highlands, NC
  • McDowell Hospital – Marion, NC
  • Transylvania Regional Hospital – Brevard, NC
  • Mission Pardee Health Campus – Asheville, NC
  • Mission Imaging Services – Asheville, NC

Schedule your screening today. Call (828) 213-0695 for questions or to schedule a screening at any of our regional Mission Health locations.