Screening and Wellness Examinations
The key to fighting lung cancer is early detection. Low-dose CT scanning is the most effective way to diagnose lung cancer in its early stages.
Lung cancer screening uses low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) that is a CT scan with a low dose of radiation to find lung nodules, some of which may be cancer. People who take part in screening can lower their chances of dying from lung cancer. CT scanning for lung cancer screening uses up to 90% less radiation than a conventional chest CT scan.
Research results indicate that screening lung CT enhances early detection of lung cancer and significantly improves survival.
The USPSTF (United States Preventive Services Task Force) recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or who have quit within the past 15 years. Screening can be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.
A person who meets the following criteria the exam is offered free of charge
- Individuals between 55-80 years of age
- Has smoked at least 1 pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years, (known as “pack years”)
- Currently smokes or has quit smoking less than 15 years ago
- Obtain a referral from your primary care physician (or pulmonologist)
This screening exam can and does save lives
For more information and to determine whether you should undergo this exam we strongly recommend that you visit: http://www.shouldiscreen.com/
A heart CT scan for coronary artery calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries—the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle.
This CT exam is painless, fast and easy.
Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD). People with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks. In addition, over time, progression of plaque buildup can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may be chest pain, sometimes called "angina," or a heart attack.
Because calcium is a marker of CAD, the amount of calcium detected on a scan is a helpful prognostic tool for you and your doctor. The findings are expressed as a “coronary calcium score”.
The major risk factors for CAD are:
- high blood cholesterol levels
- family history of heart attacks
- high blood pressure
- cigarette smoking
- overweight or obese
- physical inactivity
No special preparation is necessary in advance of a coronary artery calcium score CT examination. You should continue to take your usual medications, but should avoid caffeine and smoking for four hours prior to the exam.
The extent of CAD is graded according to your calcium score:
|Calcium Score||Presence of CAD (coronary artery disease)|
No evidence of CAD
Minimal evidence of CAD
Mild evidence of CAD
Moderate evidence of CAD
Extensive evidence of CAD
CT colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, uses low-dose radiation CT scanning to obtain images of the inside of the colon that otherwise can only be seen with the more invasive colonoscopy.
During CT colonography, a small tube is inserted a short distance into the rectum to allow for inflation with air. CT images are then taken of the patient’s abdomen and examined for polyps and other abnormalities using advanced computer software. No sedation is required for this exam.
CT colonography has a markedly lower risk of perforating the colon than conventional colonoscopy. Most people who undergo CT colonography do not have polyps, and therefore can be spared having to undergo a full colonoscopy.
CT colonography is an excellent alternative for patients who wish to avoid sedation or have clinical factors that increase the risk of complications from colonoscopy, such as treatment with a blood thinner or a severe breathing problem.
Elderly patients, especially those who are frail or ill, will tolerate CT colonography better than conventional colonoscopy.
CT colonography can be helpful when colonoscopy cannot be completed because the bowel is narrowed or obstructed for any reason, such as by a large tumor.
CT colonography can detect abnormalities outside of the colon, including early-stage malignancies and potentially dangerous conditions, such as abdominal aortic aneurysms.
CT colonography is well tolerated. Sedation and pain relievers are not needed, so there is no recovery period. Patients can drive themselves home.
CT colonography is less costly than colonoscopy.