Low Dose CT Scans for Lung Cancer Detection

Residents in Riverhead, NY who are at risk for developing lung cancer should consider getting a low dose CT scan. In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Early detection of cancer, however, can greatly improve one’s rates of survival. Recent medical research shows that low dose CT scans, which use x-rays to see into the lungs, can be effective in detecting lung cancer in Riverhead, NY smokers who qualify for the scans. A study called the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) involving more than 50,000 participants found a 20 percent decrease in lung cancer-related deaths among high-risk patients who had three annual low dose CT scans, as compared to those with three chest x-rays.

Is this test for me?
If you think you could benefit from a low dose CT screening in Riverhead, NY, you should discuss the test with your primary care physician. According to NLST, people in Riverhead, NY between the ages of 55 and 74 years with a 30 or more pack year smoking history could benefit from regular low dose CT scans. Pack year smoking history can be calculated by multiplying the number of years smoked by the number of packs per day. Low dose CT screening is intended only for those patients at risk for lung cancer, without any current symptoms. If you think you are having symptoms that are related to lung cancer, see your primary care physician.

It is important to note that low dose CT screening does not prevent the risk of lung cancer-related deaths, and that quitting smoking is most beneficial to your health.

What are the risks involved in a low dose CT scan?
The low dose CT screening in Riverhead, NY utilizes a fraction of the radiation needed for a regular chest CT scan. Still, radiation has some risks that are difficult to quantify. Be assured that the low dose CT screenings are safe for patients, as they have been tested many times before.

Some other risks of low dose CT scans involve the chance of false positives, which can report abnormalities, such as benign nodules; the need for additional testing; and the possible worry that comes with having such a scan performed.

What will happen should I decide to get a low dose CT scan?
1. After registering for your screening in Riverhead, NY, a radiologist will escort you to the low dose CT scanner.
2. There are no injections or medications involved, and the test should take only one or two minutes.
3. The results will be shared directly with your primary care physician, who will coordinate any necessary follow-up and help you to interpret the results. 

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