October 14th, 2022
Find out more about lung cancer screening
What is lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer screening uses a test called low dose computed tomography (LDCT), which examines the chest to identify lung cancer at an early stage.

Large clinical trials have shown there’s significant benefit in performing LDCT screenings on patients with high risk factors.

The benefits of lung cancer screening

Screening helps to detect the disease before it becomes symptomatic. It is quick and painless, and is more sensitive than chest X-rays in lung cancer diagnosis.

Recent studies show LDCT reduces lung cancer mortality by up to 20 per cent.

The potential risks of lung cancer screening

But it’s also important to be aware of the potential harms of lung cancer screenings.

The exposure to ionising radiation, while only in low levels, can damage cells and lead to the development of cancer. Additionally, false positive results can trigger anxiety and cause unnecessary tests and procedures.

Despite these potential harms, screening remains an important tool for early diagnosis of lung cancer and offers the best chance of survival for patients with the disease.

Learn more about low-dose CT

A CT scan is a type of X-ray that creates detailed image ‘slices’ of organs, bones and other tissues.

When compiled on a computer, these slices provide a high-quality, 3D picture that allows your care team to detect small abnormalities.

However, CT scans involve ionising radiation, which can increase the risk of future cancers for the patient.

So in some cases, doctors request that technicians use the lowest dose of radiation possible to capture the image. This is called an LDCT.

Given that lungs are predominantly filled with air, there is low requirement for X-ray energy to acquire the images.

This means an LDCT can optimise the images to focus on the lungs and therefore only requires a low radiation dose.

Compared with other sources of radiation in this graph, LDCT has very low exposure to radiation for patients.

Know your risk

Lung cancer is a very serious disease with a high mortality rate.

But it’s treatable if it’s caught early enough. Many people with lung cancer go on to lead normal, healthy lives.

Early detection is key, so stay aware of the lung cancer symptoms and see a doctor if you have any concerns.

Take our easy-to-use quiz to determine if your are at risk.

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