Sentara Halifax Offers CT Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for both men and women. Lung cancer takes many lives because it is sometimes known as the “silent killer”, as symptoms of the disease, such as pain, coughing up blood, and wheezing, do not show up until the later stages when treatment is less effective.
In an innovative step toward detecting this deadly cancer earlier and saving the lives of those affected, Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital is now offering CT Lung Cancer Screenings to individuals who have a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
“The CT Lung Cancer Screening is a new way for us to take the individual who we know has an increased risk, whether it is from smoking or family history, and screen them to catch lung cancer in its very early stages,” says Samantha Thompson, imaging services navigator for the CT Lung Cancer Screening Program at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital. “With this screening, we will be able to save the lives of those who would have silently developed advanced lung cancer with no way of knowing until it was too late.”
Receiving a CT Lung Cancer Screening is made possible by a referral from your primary care provider or pulmonologist. Typically considered to be preventative care by most insurance companies, check with your insurance provider to ensure this screening is covered. Your healthcare provider will ask you a series of questions about your family medical history, occupational history, and your history of tobacco usage. If you meet the criteria, you will be issued a referral for a CT Lung Cancer Screening.
“The screening itself is a noninvasive test that uses low-dose CT scanning to check for cancer in the lungs,” says Thompson. “Patients can expect to be at the hospital for about 20 minutes. It takes about 30 seconds to complete the scan itself and it is absolutely painless.”
Once the procedure is complete, a radiologist will review your results and analyze the images of your lungs. The radiologist will look for small nodules in the lungs that may indicate the early stages of lung cancer. If nodules are found, appropriate action will be taken to biopsy the tissue and make a diagnosis.
“We know that the key to beating lung cancer is diagnosing it and treating it early,” says Thompson. “We are so pleased to be offering this service to our community and we are dedicated to providing the most innovative and comprehensive cancer care that the Sentara Cancer Network has to offer.”
For more information about the CT Lung Cancer Screening program at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, call 434-517-3187 to speak with the Imaging Services Navigator.