November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection, low dose screening, and increased awareness are leading to improved experiences for lung cancer patients.
In the article, Can Lung Cancer Be Found Early?, The American Cancer Society shares that a low dose CT scan, LDCT, can help find abnormal areas in the lungs that may be cancer. “Research has shown that using LDCT scans to screen people at higher risk of lung cancer saved more lives compared to chest x-rays. For higher-risk people, getting yearly LDCT scans before symptoms start helps lower the risk of dying from lung cancer.”
There are three main reasons to scan for lung cancer in higher-risk patients:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that these individuals are at higher risk of lung cancer and should receive an LDCT scan:
CT scans can be expensive, but according to this Aunt Minnie article, CT lung screenings led to reductions in the lung cancer mortality rate and have been deemed cost-effective even at an older age.
There is a whole new danger developing when it comes to lung health and increased cancer risk. New cases have been appearing involving lung damage with vaping. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the U.S. have linked vaping to the development of severe respiratory illnesses identified on CT scans. The states of Illinois and Wisconsin have also linked various lung diseases to vaping and have brought in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to launch a joint public health investigation. This is a new era of research and findings for radiologists and physicians alike, and radiologists will have an important role in recognizing vaping-associated lung injury in the future.