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Carlstadt, New Jersey
201.372.1020

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Lung Cancer Screening


About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, among both men and women. It claims more lives than colon, prostate, lymph and breast cancer combined. An estimated over 1.5 million new cases of lung cancer and an estimated 600,000 deaths from lung cancer occurred in the United States during 2014. Although not universal, the vast majority of individuals diagnosed with lung cancer are or were smokers.

Frequently Asked Questions
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City About Lung Cancer
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City Who should consider getting lung cancer screening?
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City What is Low-Dose Lung Cancer Screening with Chest CT?
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City What are some common uses for the procedure?
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City How should I prepare for the procedure?
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City How is the procedure performed?
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
CT Cat Scan MRI Imaging Centers for Cardiology & Oncology in New Jersey & New York City What might be found on my exam?


Who should consider getting lung cancer screening?

People at high risk of developing lung cancer. If you are 50-80 years of age with at least a 20 pack year history. (A pack year is the number of packs smoked per day times the number of years smoking. You have a 20 pack year history if you have smoked 2 packs/day for 10 years, 4 packs/day for 5 years, etc...). We suggest that you discuss the possible benefit of Low-Dose Chest CT for Lung Cancer Detection with your physician if you believe you are at risk.


What is Low-Dose Lung Cancer Screening with Chest CT?

Low dose lung cancer screening with chest CT is a fast, non-invasive way to look for cancers in the lung. It is intended to supplement or replace routine chest x-rays in in individuals that are at high risk for developing lung cancer. Like screening mammography, it is essential to minimize the amount of radiation exposure in asymptomatic patients. The test is specifically designed to rapidly screen the lungs with minimal radiation exposure, to allow detection of pulmonary nodules. No intravenous contrast is used.


What are some common uses for the procedure?

While clinical history and physical exam findings are extremely important in the diagnosis of lung cancer, often, by the time the disease causes symptoms, it is too late for a cure. In the past, doctors attempted to detect lung cancer early using chest x-ray, however, this was not successful due to the insensitivity of chest x-ray to small cancers. Recent results investigating low dose chest CT screening for lung cancer have been quite encouraging. This technique can find cancers measuring less than 1 centimeter. This exam is designed to detect the cancers while they are small enough for the patient to be cured. While this screening technique is very promising, it is important to remember that it is not yet proven to decrease the death rate from lung cancer.


How should I prepare for the procedure?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure.

Metal objects including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant as this test may be harmful to the fetus.


How is the procedure performed?

CT screening for lung cancer is fast and simple. First, you complete a brief risk factor questionnaire. You will then lie down on the imaging table and a CT technologist will ask you to hold your breath while the images are taken. The exam is complete in about 20 seconds, and you may return to your regular routine. The procedure is painless and noninvasive.


Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

Your examination will be reviewed by a board certified Radiologist. Additionally, Computer Aided Detection (CAD) software will be used to highlight any abnormalities in the lungs. The results will be sent to you and your doctor within 48 hours.


What might be found on my exam?

Most exams are normal showing no sign of cancer. If your test is read as negative, then no pulmonary nodules were detected.

If the Radiologist detects a pulmonary nodule, then you will be asked to make an appointment with a lung specialist and may need to return for additional imaging tests. Frequently, nodules detected on the screening exam are subsequently revealed to be benign granulomas or scars on the diagnostic study. Therefore, an initially positive screening test does not necessarily mean that you have lung cancer.

This exam is also sensitive to other abnormalities in the chest, many of which will be incidental and benign. Some of these findings may prompt your physician to order additional tests for further clarification. These might include additional imaging tests, repeat CT after a short interval of time, needle biopsy, or perhaps even surgical biopsy.

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