What is low-dose lung CT (LDCT) screening?
LDCT stands for low-dose lung computerized tomography screening. It is intended to detect lung disease before a person starts to develop any symptoms. LDCT involves a combination of x-ray equipment and computers. The LDCT scan produces high-quality images to help doctors detect any lung abnormalities, and it uses less radiation than a traditional CT scan of the chest.
Who is LDCT recommended for?
Approximately 85% of lung cancer deaths occur in current or former cigarette smokers. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual LDCT screening for people who are between the ages of 50 and 80, have a 20-pack-year or more smoking history, and currently smoke or have quit within 15 years. If all of these statements apply, lung cancer screening with LDCT is recommended for you. A pack-year is considered an average of smoking one pack of cigarettes per day for one year. You should consult with your doctor if you think lung cancer screening might be a good option for you.
What happens during LDCT?
During LDCT, you will lie on your back on the scanner’s table. The technologist will be in a different room to operate the machine, but you will be able to talk to them throughout the procedure. The table will slide through the machine, and it will create pictures of your lungs. You might be told to hold your breath for short time intervals in order to increase the image quality. The table will continue moving and taking images; it might make clicking noises.
The entire scan takes about a minute, and your appointment will likely take around 30 minutes. You will be able to return to normal activities immediately following the LDCT scan. After your doctor reviews your scan, he or she will discuss the results and any possible next steps with you.
Are there any risks associated with LDCT?
If a patient receives an excessive amount of LDCT tests, repeated radiation may lead to cancer. Lung cancer screening is typically only recommended for people at high risk for the disease because of the continuous radiation. There is also a risk of receiving a false-positive result, possibly leading to unnecessary procedures. Again, you should talk to your doctor before getting screened to ensure that you are a good candidate.
LDCT at Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants
Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants offers low-dose lung CT screening at several of our affiliate locations. For more information about LDCT at AMIC, please visit https://amicrad.com/services/wellness-screening/#lung.