Statistics about lung cancer suggests that the 5 year survival in very early lung cancer (stage 1 A) is between 60 to 70 % whereas 5 year survival for advanced lung cancer (stage 4) is 2to 10 %. Hence it is prudent to diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage.
Screening is to look for cancer cells before the person has developed symptoms. When the cancer is picked up in a very early stage, the long term outcomes are much better as compared to when the cancers are picked at an advanced stage.
It is important to understand that lung cancer screening test are usually performed in the population who are at a higher risk of developing cancer rather than the general population and does not mean that the subject has cancer.
Population with smoking history carry a higher risk than the general population. Subjects who should undergo Lung cancer screening:
Further diagnostic tests may only be needed if the results of screening are positive.
A low dose CT scan is a quick, painless and non-invasive approach to screen for lung cancer. This type of CT scan neither requires any dyes, injections nor anything to swallow.
You will be subjected to a single phase unenhanced very low dose CT scan covering from base of neck to adrenal gland. Total time inside the CT scan room will be 5 minutes including positioning time and planning. The actual scan time will be only 3-6 seconds.
The typical radiation during lung cancer screening is approximately 1-2 mSv in contrast to the 4-6 mSv radiation in the routine CT scan of the chest.
Lung cancer screening helps to pick up the lung cancer at a stage earlier than it would have developed when symptoms develop. In the largest trial (NLST) with more than 53,000 participants, low dose CT scan reduced the mortality from lung cancer by 20%.
The shortfall of lung cancer screening is that it picks up nodules, which sometimes may not be malignant, and these subjects are subjected to a biopsy. The other shortfall is that, negative result does not completely eliminate the risk of developing a lung cancer in the future.
What Is The Best Method To Lower The Chances Of Developing Lung Cancer? Smoking by far is the biggest factor in developing Lung cancer. Regardless of screening decision, avoiding cigarettes is the most powerful way to lower the chance of dying overall, or suffering or dying, from a variety of diseases, such as lung cancer, emphysema, heart or vascular disease.