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Have Peace of Mind with Lung Cancer Screening

COPD patients spend a lot of time focused on their lung health. Between staying on top of breathing treatments, going to pulmonary rehabilitation and receiving important vaccinations that can prevent lung disease, COPD patients know how important it is to take care of their lungs. Now there is another test that should be on the radar of all COPD patients.

Lung cancer screening looks for lung cancer before a patient has any symptoms, when it is easier to treat. Not everyone with COPD is at high risk for lung cancer but many people with COPD are and should ask their doctor about low-dose CT screening.

You meet the high-risk criteria if you:

  • are between 55-77 and have private and insurance or 55-80 and have Medicare,
  • Are a current smoker or have quit in the past 15 years and
  • Have smoked an equivalent of 30 pack years (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.)

You might be wondering if you need a low-dose CT scan if you have had a chest X-ray. While chest X-rays can detect large nodules, low-dose CT scans are much more precise and the only type of test recommended for lung cancer screening. Low-dose CT scans can detect nodules as small as a grain of rice, which means even better and more accurate early detection. A landmark study found that low-dose CT scans reduced lung cancer mortality by 20% when compared to chest x-ray.

Receiving a yearly low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer, can help give you peace of mind and should be an important consideration for people with COPD. To see if you qualify for a low-dose CT screening, and for more information and resources on how to discuss with your doctor, insurance coverage, and lung cancer screening facilities visit SavedByTheScan.org.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • nj6133
    2 years ago

    I agree this is something that everyone who smoked should have done. I have had it done at my local Helen Graham Cancer Center the last 3 years. It is painless and takes more time getting to the appointment than it does having the scan done. The first and second were what I expected with COPD. The one done last October found a small nodule-in just one year there it was! It was small and not needing a biopsy. When I go again this October and will see what this last year did. But I would never of known it is in the middle lobe of the right lung if I did not make that first appointment and kept every one after. Now I have the knowledge and am in the care of my local Cancer Center. Just knowing has made the difference. Finding out when it is too late is not the wise choice. I found the how to on my State Site and followed the instructions. So glad I did!

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