What is Low Dose CT and Is Low Dose CT Scan The Way to Go? Recommendation Lung Cancer Screening and Is the Low Dose Helical CT Scan Superior to Chest X Ray
Low Dose CT Scan Screen for Lung Cancer Superior : Older Studies of Chest X Ray Screening for Lung Cancer Were Disappointing
The American Cancer Society has updated their guidelines for screening of lung cancer. They talk about who and how certain people could be screened. In a nutshell, they zeroed in on cigarette smokers of a certain age. Based on three different trials especially one called the NLST,The National Lung Screening Trial, cigarette smokers especially between the ages of 55 and 74, even those who quit as long as 15 years ago, are candidates for screening with a low dose CT scan. The Low Dose Helical CT scan, a CT scan that emits less radiation than a standard diagnostic CT scan, seems to provide more useful results according to the trials then previous trials that had used chest X rays and weren't encouraging.
Also a Video about Lung Cancer ScreeningIn the NSLT, 53,454 eligible participants aged 55–74 were recruited by 33 screening centers and were randomly assigned after giving written informed consent to receive either three annual low-dose helical CT scans (LDCT; also called spiral CT by many investigators) or back to front view chest X-rays.
The radiation dose that people get when they are getting tests involving radiation is measured in units called sieverts, a millisievert is 1/1000 of a sievert or an msv. "The term ‘low-dose’ is used because the average estimated whole-body effective dose in the NLST is 1.5 milliseiverts versus 7 millisieverts for standard diagnostic chest CT. Because of concerns about the radiation harms associated with CT scans and other medical imaging tests, lower doses of radiation are used in the screening setting despite higher resolution achievable with increased doses. (Because the estimated average whole body effective dose of the single back to front chest X-ray is 0.02 mSv, the whole body effective dose ratio of chest X-ray:LDCT:standard diagnostic CT is about 1:75:350.)"
But Read the Fine Print
They new guidelines say doctors should talk to their patients about having lung cancer screening but also remind them that the screening itself is not without possible problems and complications. For example, the low dose CT Scan can pickup certain nodules that aren't cancerous but that won't be known unless further testing is done. "Usually this is something as straightforward as a repeat CT scan, but may be more complicated such as a bronchoscopy to look down in the lung or even a biopsy through the chest wall to see if a lesion is cancerous. It may even mean chest surgery".