Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ask The Experts: Low Dose CT Lung Screening

To continue this months focus on lung cancer awareness, our radiologists have answered more common questions on the low dose CT lung screening available at Atlantic Medical Imaging.

To see the first set of questions, please check the previous post HERE.  

What should I expect?
An initial positive screening test does not necessarily mean you have lung cancer, as most growths are benign. However, if the radiologist detects a growth that raises concern, you may be asked to return for a diagnostic CT exam. In some instances you may be asked to return periodically to recheck a mass that is not suspicious to make sure that it remains unchanged. Charges for the diagnostic scan and for any additional tests that may be needed will usually be covered by insurance. If your scan is normal, you may wish to obtain a repeat study in one year.

Is it okay to continue smoking now that there is a screening test available?
No. Tobacco is one of the strongest cancer-causing agents. Tobacco use causes many different types of cancers, including lung cancer, as well as chronic lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. The damage caused by smoking is cumulative and the longer a person smokes, the higher the risk of disease. Quitting smoking is hard, but there are many proven treatments that can help.

Where can I get the low dose CT screening? How do I make an appointment?
The study is available at all Atlantic Medical Imaging offices. All patients will need to obtain a referral for the low dose CT lung screening from their healthcare provider. To schedule an appointment please call us at: (609) 677-XRAY (9729).



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ask the Experts: Low Dose CT Lung Screening

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and our focus for this months Ask The Experts.

Lung cancer amounts for 1 of every 3 cancer deaths and is the second most diagnosed in men and women. About 87% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, however 60% of lung cancer patients have never smoked or are former smokers who quit decades ago. Only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed at their earliest, most curable stages. If caught early patients can increase their treatment options, outcome and survival rate. 

Recent studies have shown that using low dose CT for screening of lung cancer has reduced cancer deaths from lung cancer by 20% in just five years. Listed below are frequently asked questions regarding low dose CT lung screening exams available at Atlantic Medical Imaging.

 What is a low dose CT lung screening?
The CT lung screening is a low dose CT scan which evaluates your lungs for any sign of cancer. This screening tool is intended for individuals considered to be at high risk fir developing lung cancer. The advanced CT scan provides a rapid examination of your lungs and is designed to detect small nodules (possible cancers) that may be present, but not yet visible on a standard chest x-ray. The images are acquired in a similar fashion to a regular CT, using a helical technique. It takes only seconds (one breath hold) and no IV or contrast is needed. Recent research suggests that detection of nodules at a very small size may dramatically improve the likelihood of survival of lung cancer.

How much radiation is used during the exam?
In an average size person, the dose will be approximately 1mSv (millisieverts). To put this into perspective, a person will receive 3 to 4 mSvs of background radiation every year just living at sea level. Your additional lifetime cancer risk at age 55 for the low dose CT scan is approximately 0.004%, which is very low.
 
Who should get a low dose CT lung screening?
Results from the NLST (National Lung Screening Trial) suggest former smokers and smokers age 55+ with a 30 pack-year smoking history have a low dose CT lung screening. Pack-year history is calculated by multiplying the number of years smoking by the number of packs per day. 

Other candidates include patients between 50 and 55 years of age with at least a 20-30 pack smoking history or with risk factors such as asbestos exposure or obstructive airway disease. Non-smokers concerned about their risks from environmental hazards such as asbestos or radon gas, or who have health concerns, like obstructive airway disease, or who were exposed to substantial second hand smoke, should consult their physicians to see if they are a candidate for this procedure. 

For more information please visit www.atlanticmedicalimaging.com & continute to check back for more FAQ's on low dose CT lung screenings.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

National Lung Cancer Awareness Month



November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and AMI is focused on educating patients on the importance of prevention and early detection.  Lung cancer is responsible for 1 out of every 3 cancer deaths and is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and women. While heavy smokers are at the greatest risk for the disease, 60% of lung cancer patients are individuals who never smoked or who quit decades ago. Only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed at their earliest, most curable stages. If caught early, patients can increase their treatment options while improving their outcomes and survival rate.

A new low dose CT lung screening exam is now being offered at Atlantic Medical Imaging. Recent studies have shown that screening current and former heavy smokers reduced their risk of dying from lung cancer by 20%.

The low dose CT lung screening exam is for patients 55-74 who have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or at least two packs of cigarettes a day for 15 years. In addition, patients 50-74 who have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years and with risk factors such as asbestos exposure or a family history of lung cancer are eligible.  Patients will need a script from their healthcare provider indicating LOW DOSE CT LUNG SCREENING.

To learn more please visit: atlanticmedicalimaging.com/low-dose-ct-lung-screening