Hi, I’m Elliot Fishman, a radiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. In this short video I’d like to describe lung cancer screening.
Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer-related death.
As with many forms of cancer, early detection is the key to survival. Lung cancer that’s detected early – before it spreads to other areas of the body – is more successfully treated. It’s recommended that individuals who have a high risk of developing lung cancer but no signs or symptoms consider annual screening with low-dose computed tomography scanning of the chest, or low dose CT or LDCT.
LDCT uses up to 90 percent less radiation than a conventional CT scan of the chest to produce images to help detect lung disease and other abnormalities.
However, not all of the cancers detected by lung cancer screening will be found in the early stages of lung cancer. Therefore, screening may not always help improve your health or help you live longer if the disease has already spread to other areas of the body.
You should also know that potentially there can be false positive or false negative results. A false positive result occurs when a test appears to be abnormal but no lung cancer is found. In this case, potentially more tests might be required. On the other hand, a false negative test occurs when the test results appear to be normal even though lung cancer might be present.
However, it is important to remember that lung cancer screening with LDCT has been proven to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer in patients at high risk. And, when cancer is found with screening, patients can more often undergo minimally invasive surgery and have less lung tissue removed. The results that have been published to date have been excellent.
For more information about lung cancer screening, visit RadiologyInfo.org.