Cancer of the lung kills more Americans than any other cancer combined. People can reduce their odds for dying from lung cancer by never smoking or choosing to quit. Smokers who cannot quit have a better chance of surviving cancer of the lung if they are screened with a CT scan, as opposed to a chest x-ray.
Death from lung cancer with CT scans goes down 20 percent
A lung cancer study by the National Cancer Institute found that screening smokers and previous smokers with a CT scan once a year reduced deaths from the disease by 20 percent. 53,000 current or ex-smokers were tracked that has smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years and were middle aged or older. Those with a regular chest x-ray were compared to those who had annual low-dose helical computed tomography or CTs. Because of the difference in mortality that it had, the NCI ended the study early in order to let those within the study know.
Lung cancer screening creates CT scan obstacles
In reality, using CT scans for lung cancer screening must overcome obstacles not considered in the study environment. CT scans for lung cancer can get pretty pricey. Medical insurance companies don’t typically cover this including Medicare. Newchoicehealth.com points out that the national average price of a CT scan is expensive. It is $1,800 within the chest. $370 is the average for what you’d pay for a standard chest x-ray for lung cancer screening. Most health care plans cover it anyway. Radiation is also a concern. A low-dose CT scan subjects a patient to about 15 times more radiation than a chest x-ray. Plus, the high detail of a CT scan picks up suspicious anomalies that turn out not to be tumors.
Death by lung cancer stopped with CT scan screening
There are a lot of smokers within the U.S. 80 million people get this title. Because lung cancer is diagnosed too late, about 85 percent of patients with it die. According to CBS News, Steffani Torrighelli, at 67 years, had smoked for 50 years already. She knew lung cancer had been a risk. Two years ago she was part of the study. She did this on her own. At her first annual CT scan for lung cancer screening, an early stage tumor was detected before any lung cancer symptoms emerged. It has been two years and after having the tumor removed, Torrighelli has no cancer and will continue to do her lung cancer screenings via CT scans.
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