We all know that smoking is a major cause of lung cancer. Those who smoke or have quit smoking now have the chance to be screened to catch lung cancer early and increase survival. Joining us today is Dr. Juan Jimenez, radiologist at Carle to talk about low dose lunch cancer screenings and who should get them and how often.
THERE IS A SCREENING TO CATCH LUNG CANCER EARLY. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?
· Describe LDCT
· Emphasize low doses of radiation
· Allows physicians to catch lung cancer in the early stages
· Better chance to treat or even cure the cancer
WHAT DOES THE PREP AND THE TEST LOOK LIKE? DO YOU DRINK BARIUM OR HAVE ANY NEEDLE STICKS?
· Quick and painless
· Fully clothed
· Takes about 10 seconds
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO HAVE A LOW DOSE CT?
· Between age 55 – 74
· Currently a smoker or quit smoking in the last 15 years
· Smoke an average of one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THIS SCREENING BE DONE?
· This program recommends yearly scans
· Monitor any changes or new developments
DOES HEALTH INSURANCE COVER THE COST OF THE TEST?
· Low Dose CT is proven to catch cancer early
· So, many health insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid cover the test
· Talk to your health insurance provider to see if the test is covered
LUNG CANCER IS A SCARY DIAGNOSIS. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A PERSON WHO IS AFRAID TO GET SCREENED AND GET BAD NEWS?
· Lung cancer is scary
· But if caught quickly, treatment isn’t as radical and can extend a person’s lifespan and quality of life
· It is also possible to catch all the cancer and cure the disease
· You don’t have to be a Carle patient to receive this screening
FOR PEOPLE CONVINCED THAT THEY NEED A LUNG CANCER TEST, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THEY NEED TO DO?
· Talk to your primary care physician to see if LDCT is right for you
· Begin smoking cessation if you’re a current smoker