The founder of PET/CT at Las Colinas discusses screening recommendations.
Irving, TX, Jan 17, 2016 – Low-dose CT scans have proven themselves very effective in helping doctors diagnose and treat lung cancer. This screening procedure, however, isn’t recommended for every ex-smoker out there. In fact, there are some pretty strict use guidelines meant to protect ex-smokers from unnecessary and invasive medical exams that may follow.
“At present, the use of low-dose CT scanning is suggested for older patients who have smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years,” says Dr. Gregory Echt, founder of PET/CT of Las Colinas. “People who have quit smoking for 15 years or longer may find they don’t meet the criteria for routine scans. While it might seem counterintuitive to not use low-dose scans on a regular basis for all current and ex-smokers, there are some very good reasons behind the recommendations.”
Dr. Echt says the protocol is in place to help former smokers at lower risk for lung cancer avoid unnecessary follow-up procedures, such as lung biopsies. If a CT scan shows an area of concern, for example, this more invasive test may be ordered. Those at lower risk may find the biopsies often turn up nothing of consequence.
“The idea is to help lower-risk former smokers avoid unnecessary risks associated with further lung cancer testing,” Dr. Echt says.
While routine low-dose scans aren’t recommended for everyone, ex-smokers who display symptoms or who have other concerns about lung cancer may find the test is accessible to them. Anyone who is concerned about the potential for lung cancer is urged to discuss personal risks with a healthcare provider.
Smoking is the top cause of lung cancer around the world. Giving up this habit can dramatically reduce lung cancer risks. Smokers who are ready to leave the habit behind will find their doctors can offer them assistance.
About PET/CT of Las Colinas
is dedicated to the care and wellbeing of our patients. We understand that the foundation of a successful treatment plan – or a clean bill of health – begins with sophisticated, accurate imagery. We look forward to providing you with the highest level of care.Our imaging center is located conveniently across the highway from the Las Colinas Medical Center within the Las Colinas Cancer Center on Highway 161 in Irving, TX. and – once here – we offer hassle-free curbside parking.