Baptist Health La Grange: Importance of Lung Cancer Screening
Radiologist Richard Waggener, MD, defines low-dose CT scanning and emphasizes its importance in the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer.
Importance of Lung Cancer Screening HealthTalks Transcript
Richard Waggener, MD, Radiology
CT scans use sophisticated X-ray equipment and digital detectors and powerful computers to produce highly detailed pictures inside the body, particularly the lungs. Low-dose CT scanning differs mainly by its name. It’s low dose. We have reduced the dose of X-ray exposure to the patient to the lowest achievable levels to still detect cancer. It’s fast and painless. It requires no IV access. It requires no prep. The patient lies on the CT scan table, holds their breath, and the scan itself takes maybe 15 to 20 seconds. Lung cancer is particularly deadly because it develops silently, and is often discovered at a later stage when it’s spread beyond the lung to other parts of the body. CT screening has been shown to be able to accurately detect cancer at a much earlier stage before it has spread outside the lung. Smokers tend to be, in my experience, very fatalistic. They’ve smoked that many years. They figure what’s gonna happen is gonna happen. But, they should know that low-dose CT lung cancer screening has been proven to reduce their chances of dying from lung cancer, and that’s very important, and it’s a message I believe should be spread more widely.
Lung cancer is a major health issue in the United States. This quick lung cancer risk assessment can help you identify your lung cancer risk factors and determine if a lung cancer screening is recommended for you.