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Lung Cancer Screening in Arizona with Low Dose CT Lung Scan to Avoid Lung Cancer

Until there is a cure, Check My Lungs is dedicated to lung cancer awareness. The first step in the fight against lung cancer is early detection with lung cancer screening. To learn if you meet the recommended guidelines for annual lung screening, fill out the Check My Lungs Assessment Form. It is important to note that people at high risk may not necessarily develop lung cancer, just as someone with no risk factors may one day develop it.

If it is determined, after taking the Check My Lungs Assessment Form, that you meet the recommended guidelines for annual lung screening, we at Check My Lungs recommend you print out the form and discuss with your primary healthcare physician. Your physician may determine that you should undergo lung cancer screening. The guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and American Society of Clinical Oncology all recommend that only centers with considerable expertise in lung cancer screening should perform low dose CT screening.

Check My Lungs imaging providers, Scottsdale Medical Imaging (SMIL), are recognized leaders in the field of low dose CT lung screening. Check My Lungs is committed to Arizona breathing easier and as part of this commitment, Scottsdale Medical Imaging (SMIL) is offering a low dose CT lung scan at the discounted rate of $99. We believe that screening should be accessible to as many people as possible who are at high risk.

Currently lung cancer is often not detected until it has already spread to other parts of the body or is at an advanced non-curable stage of the disease. Annual lung cancer screening is now a proposed recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for those at high risk of developing lung cancer. Considered at high risk are current smokers between the ages of 55 and 79 who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day or more for 30 years and have smoked within the past 15 years.

The USPSTF is a panel of medical experts authorized by the United States to make specific recommendations on particular preventative medical services for individuals with no signs or symptoms of a disease. A low dose computed tomography (CT) lung scan is now recommended for lung cancer screening for individuals identified at high risk for developing lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Screening with Low Dose CT Lung Scan

A major study, the National Lung Screening Trial (published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011), contributed to the advancement of the study of lung cancer prevention. The NLST showed a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality with low dose CT lung scan as compared to a chest x-ray. In the past, chest x-rays were used to reveal any suspect areas in the lungs like a suspicious mass or enlarged lymph nodes. Studies have shown that chest x-rays have led to over-diagnosis of lung cancer or “false positives” and may subject patients to unnecessary tests. Low dose CT Lung scan is superior to chest x-ray It is far more sensitive and, while the challenge of false positives still exists, low dose CT is now able to detect very small lung nodules which increases chances of early detection of lung cancer and makes it more likely that surgery or other treatments can cure the disease. A low does CT lung scan is designed to evaluate people who do not have any signs or symptoms of lung cancer. To do this SMIL uses advanced technology including helical scanning, more sensitive detectors, and better computer processing. This along with the expertise of fellowship-trained, specialized radiologists allows SMIL to get accurate screening results with lower doses of radiation than ever before.

It should be pointed out that a negative screening result means that there were no findings concerning lung cancer at this time on the CT scan. It does not mean that the patient absolutely does not have lung cancer, or that they will never get lung cancer. Studies also indicate that annual screening should be continued, and so as long as you stay in the high risk group you should continue to get an annual screening.

Low Dose CT Lung Scan Procedure
This lung cancer screening is a non-invasive, painless procedure that uses low dose radiation to screen the lungs for cancer. With this procedure, different slices of the lung are able to be viewed and can detect smaller cancer masses.

Preparation for the Lung Cancer Screening Exam: No preparation is needed in advance for a low does CT lung scan. If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, please let the imaging center know beforehand.

What to Expect during the Lung Cancer Screening Exam: Patients lie comfortably on their backs on the exam table for approximately five minutes during the low dose CT lung scan procedure. Patients are asked to hold their breath for a few seconds during scanning as well as to keep their arms above their head. The CT scan emits only a small amount of radiation during the procedure. Patients are asked to remove all jewelry and metal items and may be asked to wear a gown during the CT lung scan. When the examination is completed, the patient will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies the images are perfect for the radiologist to get an accurate interpretation.

Benefits of low dose CT lung scan:

  • Painless, noninvasive and accurate
  • No radiation remains in a patient's body after a CT examination
  • Fast - which is important for patients who have trouble holding their breath
  • Can be performed if you have an implanted medical device
  • A diagnosis determined by CT scanning may eliminate the need for exploratory surgery and surgical biopsy
  • Low-dose CT scans of the chest use a lower dose of radiation than conventional chest CT

Risks of low dose CT lung scan:

  • There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the evidence shows that the benefit of early detection that comes with screening far outweighs any risks incurred from radiation exposure. The effective radiation dose for this procedure varies.
  • Women should always inform their imaging center beforehand if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

Learn more at Scottsdale Medical Imaging.