Parkridge Medical Center and Parkridge East Hospital now offer a $50 low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung screening recommended by the American Cancer Society for older smokers, a population that is especially at risk for developing lung cancer.
A low-dose CT scan of the chest provides a high-resolution picture of the lungs, allowing detection of abnormal spots known as “nodules” within the lungs that are usually too small to be seen on a traditional chest x-ray. The American Cancer Society recommends this low-dose CT lung screening for men and women who:
- Are between 55 to 74 years of age
- Regularly smoke or who have quit smoking within the last 15 years
- Are in fairly good health
“This type of screening can discover lung cancers when they are smaller and potentially curable,” radiologist Chip Kyle, MD, explains. “Lung cancer is especially deadly - and the likelihood of survival drops significantly - once the cancer has spread beyond the lung, so it’s very important to catch it early whenever possible.”
The screening, which requires a physician’s order, is brief and painless. “The screening itself takes about 10 seconds – a patient lies in the CT machine, breathes in and holds the breath for a moment, and that’s it,” Dr. Kyle explains. Results are sent to the patient’s physician, who will discuss them with the patient. If needed, a nurse navigator will follow up to offer support, explain next steps, and coordinate any necessary appointments.
Further treatment, if needed, is customized for each patient’s condition, explains pulmonologist Seong-Joo Jeong, MD. “Some situations may require ‘watchful waiting’ with regular checkups, others may require a biopsy to take a sample of suspicious-looking lung tissue, and others may require surgery to remove disease.”
“This is a very helpful, valuable screening that can save lives, and I hope older smokers in our community take the time to get a low-dose CT lung screening.”
For more information about the low-dose CT lung screening, call MedLine at 800 242-5662.