What is a CT Lung Screening?
CT Lung Screening is a non-invasive, painless exam that within minutes screens the lungs for evidence of cancer. The screening is performed on a multi-channel spiral computed tomography (CT) scanner which allows the radiologist to review cross-sectional images, or “slices”, of the lungs using a rotating x-ray beam.The low-dose chest CT used for screening the lungs delivers a much lower amount of radiation than a conventional CT yet effectively provides images of the lungs that can detect tumors or nodules with greater detail than standard chest x-rays.
Who should have a CT Lung Screening?
CT Lung screenings are recommended for both men and women who are current or former heavy smokers between the ages of 55-74. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, as well as in McHenry County. It is estimated that more than 80% of lung cancers could be cured if detected at an early stage, when they are still small and localized to the lungs. Small malignant tumors can be removed before disease spreads to other areas of the body.Your CT lung screening results will help your physician diagnose a problem and assist your physician in developing your medical treatment plan.
What should you expect?
Several days prior to your appointment, a nurse will contact you to complete a questionnaire. Please arrive 15 minutes early to your appointment to allow plenty of time to check in. Payment is required at this time. Before your screening, we will review your medical history and any past exams with you. The screening will take approximately 15 minutes. During the screening, you will lie on your back on a comfortable CT exam table with your arms outstretched above your head. You will be asked to lie still and hold your breath briefly as the pictures are being taken. Your chest area may be surrounded by the scanner for a short period of time. The scanner is open at the front and the back so you can see the room. A technologist, who will be close by in an adjacent room to monitor the pictures being taken will be able to see and hear you during the short screening period.
What happens after the screening?
After the screening, you may resume all normal daily activities as planned. Your primary care physician office will contact you to review the results of your exam with your physician.