Baptist Health Corbin: Screening for Lung Cancer
Radiologist Kevin Croce, MD, emphasizes the importance of diagnosing and treating lung cancer early, explaining why smokers should consider screenings and how the screenings work.
Screening for Lung Cancer HealthTalks Transcript
Kevin Croce, MD, Radiology
Lung cancer is very common, especially in this area. About 50 percent of patients who are diagnosed with lung cancer die within a year of knowing that they have the disease. There’s no pain or symptoms. A lot of people don’t even know if they have it until they undergo imaging for other reasons and find out when it’s already in advanced stages. You have to meet certain criteria to be eligible for screening. One is you have to be between the ages of 55 and 74. You have to have a smoking history that’s significant for smoking — about a pack a day for approximately 30 years. That means you could smoke two packs a day and have done that for 15 years. The benefits of getting lung cancer screening are that we can find out earlier and diagnosis people with lung cancer at earlier stages. That’s ultimately going to affect their outcome and their treatment. We have CT screening that we do here. You will lie on your back. The scanner will bring you then through a donut-shaped device, which will take a lot of X-rays in about a 360-degree rotational pattern, and those images are then generated on a screen so we’re able to look for small, early lung cancers or findings that might require follow-up with a physician. It’s painless, it’s very short. If you’re able to hold your breath, you’ll be able to go through a single scan without any issues. It’s 30 minutes that could save your life.