Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. Identifying this disease early is key to survival, but symptoms are not always present right away. To provide a pathway to early detection, Doctors Hospital of Laredo recently introduced a new lung cancer screening program.
“The goal is to find and diagnose lung cancer at its earlier stages, when it is more treatable,” says Director of Radiology Carlos Farias RT(R)(CT). As part of the screening process, the hospital’s nurse navigator collaborates with referring physicians to schedule and administer a low-dose CT scan for patients who meet certain criteria (see below).
“During a low-dose CT scan, the patient lies on a table and an X-ray machine uses a low dose of radiation to make detailed images of the lungs,” says Farias. “The scan only takes a few minutes and is not painful. The results then get transferred into software called DynaCAD and DynaLync, where the patient’s information will be stored, tracked and managed. Upon identification of any changes within the patient, the referring physician will be notified and proper treatment options will be discussed.”
In the event of a cancer diagnosis, patients may receive support from Doctors Regional Cancer Treatment Center, which has been providing quality care and research right here in the community for 31 years. The new lung screening program is one more way Doctors Hospital is working to provide vital services close to home. If you or someone you love is concerned about lung cancer risk, getting screened can be the first step in receiving the care needed.
You may qualify for a low-dose CT lung screening if you meet the following criteria:
- You are between 55 and 77 years old
- Have no signs or symptoms
- Are currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years, and
- Have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30+ years
The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke and to avoid secondhand smoke.
Learn more about our lung cancer screening program >