Low-dose CT scanning available to lung cancer patients at Swede - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Low-dose CT scanning available to lung cancer patients at Swedes

Posted: Updated:
Dr. Samuel Andrews Dr. Samuel Andrews
Cancer-survivor Clark Farrell Cancer-survivor Clark Farrell

New technology at SwedishAmerican could save more lives, it's the future of lung cancer research joins us with more on the future of lung cancer research and diagnosis in the area.

Swedes recently added a low-dose computed tomography, or CT, scanning program to better serve patients battling the second-most common cancer among men and women.

"More people die from lung cancers more than they do from cancers of the breast, prostate and colon combined." -says SwedishAmerican Radiation Oncologist Dr. Samuel Andrews.

This new technology's difference is right in the name. Low-dose scanning means less radiation than normal during the procedure.

"It's equivalent to a few mammograms or a spinal x-ray so it's significantly less." -says Dr. Andrews.

A National Cancer Institute study compares this technology to chest x-rays.

"What they found was that those patients who were randomized to the low-dose lung screening imaging study actually had 20% benefit, 20% fewer deaths from lung cancers." -Dr. Andrews explains.

Clark Farrell survived lung cancer. He found out he had it in 2009 before this scan was at Swedes.

"If it had been available when I was going through this in the diagnosis, I would've availed myself of it immediately. It sounds as though it would be something similar to if you have an x-ray and there's cause for question, then the next logical step would be to get a better look and it seems like this would be a good way to go." -says Farrell.

Before starting the program, Dr. Andrews recommends patients consult with their doctors. He says this scanning program is targeted at patients ages 55 to 74 with at least 30 pack-years of smoking. Pack-years means the number of years smoking multiplied by the number of packs per day. These patients will be scanned once a year for three years.

While fewer deaths resulted from low-dose CT scans, the National Cancer Institute found the scans come with an increased chance of a false alarms. Compared to chest x-rays, it was more likely those false alarms would lead to an invasive procedure.

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