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A 46-year-old member asked:

when would you do a spiral ct scan to check for lung cancer?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Pulmonary Critical Care 25 years experience
High risk groups: It is recommended for two groups: 1- 55 to 74 yo with 30 pack year smoking, current smokers or quit in past 15 years. 2- 50 & older minimum 20 pack years and at least one additional risk factor.
Dr. Brian Mott
Thoracic Surgery 29 years experience
Almost always: Almost all medical diagnosis' are evaluated by history, physical exam, and some testing. In a smoker with new chest symptoms ( cough, pain, difficulty breathing ) it would be recommended. Most often a chest x-ray or ct scan is performed for an entirely other reason and a lung nodule or mass is found that turns out to be lung cancer.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Lesion on X-ray: A suspicious lesion on a chest x-ray may need to be investigated by ct to get a better resolution. Other signs and symptoms that may suggest exclusion of lung cancer, are unexplained cough with or without blood tinged sputum, unexplained enlarged cervical node or mediastinal lymph nodes, unexplained metastases. Spiral ct refers to the method of doing ct.
Dr. David Cooke
Thoracic Surgery 22 years experience
Screening Criteria: The national lung screening trial has demonstrated that people who are aged 55-74, heavy smokers, or quit within 15 years have increased survival if they undergo screening for lung cancer with a low dose chest ct scan.

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A 46-year-old member asked:

How often should one have a spiral CT scan to check for lung cancer?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Binford
Thoracic Surgery 38 years experience
Rarely: A ct scan is not a screening exam. You only do one when you are looking at something with high suspicion. That is a lot of radiation to be routinely exposed to when you are screening for cancer.

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Last updated Apr 17, 2014
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