Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, killing 158,040 people in the U.S. in 2015, according to the American Cancer Society. But early detection and treatment improve your odds of survival.
According to UVA pulmonologist Howard Malpass, MD, a 2011 study showed lung cancer screening via a low-dose CT scan of the chest saves lives.
Need a lung cancer screening?
You’ll need to get a doctor’s referral first. Find out more about UVA’s lung cancer screening.
Get screened if you:
- Are 55-77 years old
- Smoked at least one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years
- Currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years
Is the CT Scan Safe?
“It’s a low-dose CT scan of the chest,” says Malpass. “This is a radiation exposure comparable to a mammogram, or, basically, a few chest x-rays.” You don’t have to get an IV or take any medications, and the screening only takes a few minutes.
In this week’s podcast, Malpass talks more about who should get screened and lung cancer research at UVA.