Lung Cancer: Screening to Find it Early
May 24, 2015
Lung cancer is definitely not a good diagnosis but one thing is certain — the earlier that diagnosis comes, the greater the likelihood of a good outcome. In this post to www.HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast lung disease expert Dr. James Fox answers questions about screening for lung cancer to find it early.
- Medicare and Medicaid have approved coverage for lung cancer screening so they must feel that this screening is important. What is a lung cancer screeing and why is it important?
- With respect to outcome, how much does it matter when lung cancer is discovered?
- Smokers are generally at higher risk for developing lung cancer and other pulmonary disorders, but specifically, who among smokers is considered at highest risk?
- When a physician orders a lung cancer screeing, what is he/she looking for and how is this screening different from the standard chest X-ray?
- Your primary care physician is the first line of defense for the detection of many diseases. Why is it important to discuss past tobacco use with him or her and if you fall into the higher risk category, should you ask for a lung cancer screening?
- Is it true that smoking is causal in three quarters or more of lung cancer cases?
- If something questionable appears on your lung cancer screening, what is the next step?
- When a patient is referred to a pulmonologist because a lung cancer screening indicates the need for futher assessment, what is the process? What happens?
- If further treatment is needed, talk about the physician team that becomes involved and what the patient can expect.
- In addition to the tests that are associated with an annual physical -- blood work, X-rays, etc. -- do you see lung cancer screeing becoming a standard regular test during annual check-ups?