The Redwood Area Hospital is now offering lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) for people at high risk for lung cancer, the only recommended screening test for the disease. Early detection is a proven, successful strategy for fighting many forms of cancer.
A low-dose CT procedure can detect lung cancer at its earliest stage. Without a lung screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms. At that time, the cancer is much harder to treat. Lung cancer screening is recommended for people at high risk for lung cancer. This includes people between the ages of 55 and 74 who have smoked an average of at least one pack a day for 20-30 years, including people who still smoke or who have quit within the last 15 years.
A doctor’s referral is required for lung cancer screening.
High risk individuals should talk with their healthcare provider to see if a lung cancer screening is  appropriate.
The low-dose CT exam takes less than 10 minutes. During the exam the patient lays on a flat table inside of an open circular CT machine.
Patients must be able to hold their breath for at least six seconds while the scan is taken. No medications are given, and no needles are used. Patients can eat before and after the exam. The Redwood Area Hospital has earned the ACR lung cancer screening registry designation. The designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.
 In order to receive this designation, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography (CT) in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of its lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure.

Photo courtesy of the Redwood Area Hospital