The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
Though some vary slightly, most professional guidelines recommend that you and your doctor discuss the risks and benefits of lung cancer screening if you:
Are a current or former smoker who quit within the last 15 years
Are 55-74 years old
Have a history of heavy smoking (such as one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years)
Screening is done with a low-dose
CT scan. A CT scan is a series of x-rays put together by a computer to create images of the lungs.
Screening tests results may come back as normal when lung cancer is actually present, but undetected. This is called a false-negative. Results can also show a lung lesion that is not cancerous such as a nodule. This is called a false-positive.
Can lung cancer be found early? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/early-detection.html. Updated February 22, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Lung cancer screening. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/patient/lung-screening-pdq. Updated June 16, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
What do I need to know about lung cancer screening? American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-screening. Updated November 3, 2016. Accessed July 26, 2016.
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