According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States. In honor of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we here at Maryville Imaging are encouraging individuals who are at high risk for being diagnosed with lung cancer to come in for a Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan. A CT scan can help detect lung cancer in its earliest stage when it is most treatable and curable.
If you are between 55 and 80 years old and have a history of heavy smoking, you are in the high-risk category for lung cancer and should receive yearly lung cancer screenings. Studies have shown that frequent exposure to environmental hazards such as radon and asbestos can also increase your risk of lung cancer. During the earliest stages of lung cancer, one may not feel any symptoms. It is typically in the later stages of lung cancer that patients feel symptoms. If you do exhibit any of the following symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately:
- A persistent cough that worsens overtime
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain that worsens with breathing, coughing or laughing
- Hoarseness or wheezing
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Constantly feeling tired or weak
- Frequent lung infections (bronchitis or pneumonia)
While these symptoms may not mean you have lung cancer, it is important to see your doctor because the earlier the diagnosis, the more effective treatment will be.
The low dose CT scan is the most effective screening in early detection of lung cancer. A CT scan combines the use of X-rays with advanced computer technology to ensure the most accurate diagnosis possible. At Maryville Imaging, we utilize a state of the art, low dose multi-slice CT scanner that offers more detail than traditional X-rays.
We here at Maryville Imaging, urge our patients to be proactive in their health and to take care of their lungs. What can you do to reduce your risk of lung cancer?
- Don’t ever start smoking, and if you do smoke, stop smoking. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. Studies show that people who smoke cigarettes are nearly 15 to 30 times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer or die from lung cancer than those who do not smoke.
- Test your home for radon. If you live in an area where radon is known to be a problem, have the radon levels in your home checked.
- Avoid harmful carcinogens at your workplace. If your job exposes you to toxic chemicals, always wear a face mask while working. Follow any other precautions your employer gives you to protect yourself from harmful exposure.
- Eat a healthy diet. A diet filled with fruits and vegetables is rich in vitamins and nutrients that help fight off cancerous cells.
- Exercise. Exercising regularly will keep your lungs strong and healthy.
Maryville Imaging, LLC is a full-service diagnostic center offering: High-field Large Bore MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Digital Mammography, Digital X-Ray-Fluoroscopy and Bone Densitometry. We offer a comfortable environment with a courteous staff that takes your healthcare seriously. We encourage anyone who is at high risk for lung cancer to schedule a CT scan. Give us a call today to schedule your CT scan at 618-288-4929. To learn more about our CT scan service, visit http://www.maryvilleimaging.com/services/ct-scan.