Dr. Kenyon Meadows, board-certified radiation oncologist with Southeast Georgia Health System
Cancer Care Centers. Today we’re taking a few moments to talk about
lung cancer screenings. The purpose of a screening test is to find cancer at an early stage before
it causes any symptoms. During stage 1, lung cancer is most treatable
Many of you are familiar with, or may have undergone, some of our more
long-standing screening tests, such as a mammogram or PSA blood test.
For decades, we've been trying to develop an effective screening tool
for lung cancer, the number one cause of cancer-related death in the United
States. And we finally have one. It's called a
low-dose CAT scan of the chest, and it is recommended that you have one annually if you
meet specific criteria. You must be between the ages of 55 and 80 and
you must have a 30-pack a year smoking history, meaning you either smoke
one pack a day for 30 years, two packs of cigarettes per day for 15 years,
or 3 packs of cigarettes a day for 10 years. You can either be a current
smoker or have quit within the past 15 years.
The low-dose CAT scan was proven to work during a large clinical trial
involving over 50,000 participants. They found that patients who underwent
yearly screenings with a CAT scan were 20% less likely to die of lung
cancer, which was a highly significant result.
If you think you meet the criteria for a lung screening, talk to your primary
care physician to see if you're eligible. You can also submit your
questions in the comment box below, and I’ll answer you directly
via email. Thanks!