Low-dose lung CT scans can save lives – as many as 30,000 Americans each and every year.
But lung cancer screening can give smokers a false sense of security. An unexpected consequence of lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans show that many smokers continued to smoke. It was as if a negative screening lung CT scan gave them a new lease on their smoking lives.
With a Negative CT Scan, Can I Still Smoke?
The short answer is NO WAY! The 2016 analysis of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) concluded that those men and women who stopped smoking for 7 years had a 30% decrease in lung cancer deaths. That’s huge.
Dr. Nicole Tanner of the Medical University of South Carolina was the senior author on the study that was published in the March 1, 2016 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care.
With a Negative CT Scan Do I Need Another Lung Scan?
The short answer is YES! And more often than what you think. Waiting 2-1/2 years between low-dose lung CT scans resulted in detecting lung cancers at a more advanced stage when it’s less curable.
The Dutch-Belgian Lung Cancer Survey Trial showed that 17.3% of lung cancers were stage III or stage IV when smokers were screened 2-1/2 years later compared to 6.8% for smokers screened more frequently.
The Dutch-Belgian results were published in the June 30, 2016 issue of the journal Thorax.
What are My Recommendations?
For smokers, I recommend getting screened right away for the first time and then every 12-18 months thereafter. In this Holiday Season, the gift of a $99 low-dose CT scan at First Dayton Cancer Care just may be lifesaving for you and for your loved ones.
If you have any questions about lung cancer screening or your lung cancer treatment, please feel free to call me, Dr. Edward Hughes, at 855-DAYTON1