According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is second to skin cancer as the most common cancer in both men and women and is responsible for about 13% of all new cancers. For both men and women, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, accounting for about 27% of all cancer deaths. Estimates by the American Cancer Society for new cases of lung cancer in 2019 are:
Lung cancer survival depends greatly on the stage of the cancer when it is diagnosed. Those diagnosed at early stages have a greater chance of survival and may even be cured. It is common knowledge that smoking is the leading risk for lung cancer, causing about 80% of lung cancer deaths. Other risk factors for lung cancer include exposure to radon, asbestos, other cancer-causing agents, air pollution, and radiation therapy to the lungs.
- Total New Cases—228,150
Chest x-ray or chest CT scans may detect lung cancer, usually when symptoms have already occurred. On the other hand, screening exams may detect lung cancer in high-risk individuals who have no current signs or symptoms. A lung cancer screening test can help lower the risk of death because the cancer is found early, before symptoms appear. Screening for lung cancer with a low-dose CT has emerged as the preferred screening exam because it:
- Generates more detailed pictures and is better at finding small lung abnormalities than a chest x-ray
- Uses lower amounts of radiation than a conventional chest CT and does not require the use of IV contrast
SIR-Florida offers lung cancer screening with the Hitachi SCENARIA, a 128-slice, ultra-low dose CT scanner. Not only is this CT scanner highly sophisticated, it also ensures patient comfort and safety. Compared to conventional chest CT scans, SIR-Florida’s CT scanner uses up to 90 percent less ionizing radiation, produces high-quality cross-sectional images, and is better at finding small lung abnormalities than other scanners. This is the best possible scanner for your screening exam, and SIR is the only facility in the tri-county area (Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties in Florida) that uses this ultra-low dose radiation technology.
Guidelines regarding candidates for the low-dose CT lung screening exam have been issued by the American Cancer Society. Patients should meet the following criteria:
Candidates should discuss the benefits, limitations, and potential harms of lung cancer screening with their physicians. Current smokers should seek counseling about smoking cessation programs because screening is not an alternative to smoking cessation. CT lung screening is now covered by health insurance for all patients aged 50 and higher, while some plans cover at age 45 and higher.
- Between 55 and 74 years of age
- Fairly good health
- History of smoking at least one pack per day for 30 years
- Still smoking or quit within the last 15 years