Health and Medicine

When do you need a lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that some people suffer from, especially smokers. If you are at high risk of developing lung cancer, experts recommend getting tested annually.

According to clevelandclinic, the American Cancer Society, and the American Lung Association, say if you’re an older adult, ages 50 to 80, or a long-time smoker, you should get screened every year.

Q: How effective is the examination?

A: Only a small percentage of those who get screened have cancer – about 1 in 300 patients This may sound like a small number, but it’s the same or better than breast and colon cancer screening results.

Q: Are there potential risks from the examination?

A: There are three main problems that we associate with the examination:

During the examination, a small spot (called a nodule) is sometimes found, but 95% of these are small, benign scars in the lungs that we would never have recognized without the examination. This may cause concern to people. And if the nodule seems worrisome, it may lead to more scans and biopsies, or even surgery to remove it only to find out it’s not cancer.

Scans emit a low dose of radiation. The scan is done annually, so if you scan frequently, this will be added. And no one really knows how much it will affect your health over time. There is a very small risk of developing cancer years later due to repeated screening.

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