This 15-minute scan could catch lung cancer sooner

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States. We know that lung CT scan screenings can reduce lung cancer deaths among smokers by detecting cancer in its early stages so it can be treated more effectively. All Parkview hospitals now offer low-dose chest CT scans, called SmartLung CT.

Taking only 15 minutes, a SmartLung CT is a simple, non-invasive scan. Often, lung cancer is quite advanced before symptoms indicate a problem exists. A CT lung screening allows the radiologist to look at different levels, or “slices” of the lungs. The highly detailed images can often reveal (non-cancerous) abnormalities or lung cancer.

We asked Cindy Peters, RT, M, CT, radiology manager, Parkview Wabash Hospital, to tell us more about this important technology.

Who is a good candidate for the SmartLung CT?  

Patients who have a high risk of developing lung cancer due to smoking.

How does the technology work?  

It uses a low dose CT scan, meaning less radiation than a full CT scan, to capture images of the chest. The scan takes just 10 minutes, with no prep or injections. The protocol is set to look specifically for small nodules or lesions in the lungs, which could potentially be the start of a malignancy or cancer, but not yet causing the patient any symptoms.

How quickly does the patient get results? 

Results are sent to the ordering physician within a few days.

How does this help with the treatment plan?  

By finding the nodules when they’re small, they can be followed and/or biopsied before they get large enough to cause symptoms. Finding a possible lung cancer early provides a much better treatment option for the patient.

Scheduling a SmartLung CT scan

Speak with your physician about a SmartLung CT as part of your overall health program. Your doctor can write an order for the scan, help you schedule it, and provide follow-up as necessary.

A SmartLung CT scan also is available without a physician’s referral if:

• You are between the ages of 55 and 77
• You are a current smoker
• You quit smoking within the last 15 years and have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years.

The SmartLung CT scan is available at all Parkview hospitals and outpatient sites that provide CT scanning services. Call (260) 266-7500 to make an appointment. The SmartLung CT scan costs $99 and may be covered by insurance with a physician’s referral. Please check with your insurance provider.

 

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