What Should I Expect?

Low Dose CT Lung Screening in New Jersey

The low dose CT lung screening exam is a simple, painless, and noninvasive process used to check for lung cancer. No contrast agents are needed for this exam, meaning there is nothing for you to swallow or be injected with. All you have to do is show up and follow the medical team’s instructions. If you have had a CT lung cancer screening before, the experience will be the same. The only difference is that you are now exposed to less radiation.

The first thing you will need to do is change into an exam gown. You will be directed to lie down on a table which can slide in the scanner and help it take the images it needs. At this point, the only thing you need to do is lie still and possibly hold your breath at some moments. Unlike an MRI, CT scanners are completely open, so it should not cause feelings of claustrophobia. The test only takes a few minutes, though you may be at the office anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour to set things up and talk with the medical team.

A Positive Screening Does Not Always Mean Cancer

Even if the results of a lung screening show an abnormality, there is no reason to assume you have lung cancer. Many lung growths are benign. You will want to have the growth examines, however, to find out once and for all. This may be done with a biopsy or another diagnostic CT scan.

If you have had positive results in the past that were not cancer, you may want to have a lung screening once a year. Even a benign growth means that your risk factors for lung cancer have increased. Likewise, if you were a longtime smoker it is recommended you receive screenings once a year. Knowing your risk factors and taking appropriate screening measures can improve the chances of detecting lung cancer at the earliest stages when it’s easier to treat.

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