Results of a new study have revealed promising results regarding the use of Computed Tomography (CT) scans to screen smokers and former smokers for lung cancer. The study, which was published in the journal Cancer, examined results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) which took place between 2002 and 2009, and screened smokers and former smokers aged 55 to 74 for lung cancer. The NLST results, published in 2011, showed that lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans reduced lung cancer deaths by 20% compared with chest X-rays.

Using this information, researchers from the American Cancer Society decided to calculate an estimate of how many lives could potentially be saved in the United States by using CT screening. Assuming that those eligible for screening would be men and women, aged 55 to 74, who either currently smoke or are former smokers (who quit within the last 15 years), the researchers estimated that a total of 12,250 lung cancer deaths would be prevented. While the authors recommend further studies to examine cost-effectiveness and screening frequencies, low-dose CT scans for lung cancer assessment hold great promise in reducing lung cancer deaths in this country.

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is pleased to offer low-dose CT scans for smokers. Ask your physician if you are an appropriate candidate for screening. If you are, you will need a prescription from your referring doctor. Please note that most insurance carriers require authorization for CT. Remember, the best thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. Below are a few resources to help you get started: