CT lung screening procedures use special low-dose x-rays which makes its use possible for screening purposes and, as opposed to regular x-rays, CT scans help not only tumor discovery, but also in diagnosis of lung diseases.
Who should undergo CT lung screening?
- Persons over 40 yrs of age
- Passive smokers
- Persons living in polluted areas.
What happens during the screening examination?
The examination takes place in the CT Division of the Radiology Department. A series of plain (no contrast material) images are prepared with the patients lying on their backs on the examination table. The procedure takes 20-30 minutes.
Should an abnormality be found, contrast material may be required. Since knowledge of the Patient’s kidney function is necessary for this examination, this supplemental examination will have to be performed at a later date. The second examination will be free of charge with only the contrast material having to be paid for.
Why is lung screening necessary?
While in the early-mid 20th Century, lung screening was introduced for the eradication of tuberculosis with very effective results, today lung cancer screening has become of extreme importance. Of all the cancers, lung cancer is chief cause of most deaths in Hungary and worldwide, in men and women alike. The high mortality rate can be related not only to the serious environmental effects of smoking and smog but also to the lack of screening and early diagnosis. Yet, of all the cancers, lung cancer is the most preventable of all.
Eighty-five to eighty-seven percent of lung cancers are related to active smoking and 3-5% to passive smoke. The more that an individual smokes, the greater is the risk that he or she will develop cancer.
Statistics show that smoking one pack of cigarettes per day increases the risk of cancer tenfold in men and five fold in women. Lung cancer has become one of the most important health problems from the standpoint of research as well as prevention.
The CT (computer tomography) prepares thin image slices perpendicular to the body’s axis thus preventing the images from piling up thus allowing for the smallest details to be examinable. The latest, most modern, new generation CT equipment is capable of even greater resolution with low radiation making it possible to prepare detailed image sequences of the entire chest (lungs, heart, ribs, etc.) in the time it takes to take one breath.