In earlier years, there was no accurate screening test for lung cancer. However, a recent study has shown low-dose CT scans can help lower patients’ risk of dying from lung cancer.
Low-dose CT scans show greater detail than traditional chest X-rays and are able to find smaller abnormal areas in the lungs. They also contains a lower dose of radiation than a traditional CT scan. By detecting cancerous or precancerous lung tissue earlier, low-dose CT scans provide the opportunity to provide lung cancer care when it is most treatable.
According to the American Cancer Society, patients who meet all of the criteria below are candidates for this type of lung cancer screening:
- 55 to 74 years old
- In relatively good health
- Have a minimum of a 30 pack-year smoking history
- Have quit smoking within the last 15 years or are still smokers