Why You Should Get a Lung Cancer Screening Before It’s Too Late

Why You Should Get a Lung Cancer Screening Before It’s Too Late

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Annually, more Americans die of lung cancer than breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer combined. Many of these deaths could be prevented with a preventative lung cancer screening called a Low-Dose CT chest screening.

Lung Cancer Warning Sign

Why Early Detection Will Save Your Life

In its early stages, lung cancer may not cause any symptoms, making initial discovery a challenge. With early detection, the chances of successful treatment or curative resection are the greatest.

Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer

The US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), which consists of national experts in disease prevention, recommends lung cancer screening for those at “high risk” for lung cancer. Two of the largest risk factors for lung cancer are age and tobacco use. If you meet the following criteria, you may qualify for lung cancer screening:

  1. Age 50-80 years old
  2. Have a 20 pack-year history of smoking (for example, have smoked 1 pack per day for 20 years, or have smoked 2 packs a day for 10 years)
  3. Are an active smoker or quit smoking in the past 15 years

What is a Low-Dose CT Scan?

Lung cancer screening involves having a low-dose CT scan of your chest. The term “low-dose” refers to a reduction in the amount of radiation exposure relative to a regular CT scan. This has been shown to be an effective method of detecting lung cancers at a very early stage. It is noninvasive, takes less than 20 seconds and in most cases you don’t even have to change your clothes.

Where can I get a Low-Dose CT Scan?

Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) began a comprehensive lung cancer screening program in November 2017. If you meet the above criteria, speak with your primary care provider for a referral. Find a WMMC clinic near you at WMMC.com/Family, and book an appointment today if you meet the above-listed criteria.

For additional information on Low Dose CT preventative screenings, please visit USPreventaiveServiceTaskForce.org/LungCancerScreening.

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About Western Missouri Medical Center

Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) is a fully-accredited acute care county medical center located in Warrensburg, MO. WMMC prides itself in emergency care, obstetrics, orthopedic and general surgery, family healthcare, internal medicine, outpatient clinics, ambulatory care, rehabilitation services and more. Inpatient services include medical, surgical, intensive, obstetrical, orthopedic, pediatric and skilled nursing care, as well as a wide range of therapeutic and diagnostic outpatient services. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Learn more at WMMC.com.