Making Strides in Screening for Lung Cancer
There are mammograms to screen for breast cancer, Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer. However, there’s no regular screening test for lung cancer. As a result, lung cancer is often caught after symptoms appear when it’s more advanced and harder to treat.
Researchers are studying various screening methods, and one is showing promise. A recent study showed that a low-dose spiral CT scan can decrease the risk of dying from lung cancer among heavy smokers.
Until experts agree on a standardized screening for lung cancer, however, there are other options. If you have a CT scan or chest X-ray and your doctor finds a nodule, or spot, on your lung, the Adena Lung Nodule Program is a program that includes further testing and monitoring. A nodule may be non-cancerous, but through the program, a pulmonologist will monitor it so that if it becomes cancerous over time, it can be treated early.
When a doctor refers a patient to the program, the patient will be seen within 48 hours. State-of-the-art imaging services, including bronchoscopy and CT-guided biopsy using a 128-slice CT scanner, are used to monitor lung nodules for earlier detection.
“The earlier you can catch lung cancer,” adds Cheryl Wheeler, BS, RRT-SDS, RPSGT, REEGT, pulmonary services manager at Adena, “the more you can increase survival rates.”
If you’re a heavy smoker, consider talking to your doctor about a chest X-ray or CT scan. And to learn more about the Adena Lung Nodule Program, call Adena Pulmonology at 740-779-8700.
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