Low-Dose CT Scans Detect Lung Cancer Early

Low-Dose CT Scans Detect Lung Cancer Early

 

   Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. Like all cancers, it is most treatable when discovered early. King’s Daughters is pleased to offer an imaging study called low-dose CT scan, allowing providers to detect lung abnormalities, including lung cancer, earlier and more effectively than ever before. 

   The scan can find signs of lung cancer before a patient is even experiencing symptoms and has shown to decrease mortality from lung cancer by 20%.

   “If we do a low-dose CT and we find a nodule that’s pea sized, you actually wouldn’t have any symptoms. And that’s the whole goal of doing low-dose screening, is to detect lung cancer as early as possible so we can begin treatment,” said King’s Daughters Oncologist/Hematologist Galena Salem, M.D. “Early detection can save your life.”

   Low-dose CT is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. To be eligible, patients must:

 

•Be between 50 and 77 years old

•Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer

•Be a current smoker (or quit in last 15 years)

•Have a tobacco use history of at least 20 pack-years (One pack-year equals smoking 20 cigarettes/day for a year)

 

   King's Daughters provides the testing in Ashland, Grayson, Prestonsburg and Portsmouth. To discuss eligibility, please call 606.408.8999 or visit bit.ly/KDLowDoseCT.

 

Preventing Lung Cancer

   The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke. No matter your age or how long you’ve been smoking, quitting improves your health both immediately and over the long term. 

   Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal and the temperature of your hands and feet return to normal. Within 24 hours, your chance of a heart attack decreases. After three months, your circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and, your lung function increases up to 30 percent. 

   After one year, your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker. After five years, the lung cancer death rate for the average former smoker decreases by almost half; the stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker; and the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is half that of a smoker. 

   Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck. It all starts with day one.

   “Unfortunately, not that many people can quit cold turkey,” said Dr. Salem. “So what I always tell my patients is ‘every cigarette matters.’ Have a goal, set a date and go toward that goal.”

   King’s Daughters offers tobacco cessation classes and one-on-one counseling to community members. For more information, contact tobacco treatment specialist Deidre Justice, RN, at deidre.justice@kdmc.kdhs.us or 606.408.6400.

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