CT Scans: The Life-Saving Scan For Smokers

CT Scans: The Life-Saving Scan For Smokers

Radiology is known for being important in saving the lives of many. Whether it's women’s imaging scans for breast cancers or radiation oncology, our radiologists specialize in helping our patients better treat their ailments. When it comes to lung cancer, this deadly disease can be cured through low-dose CT scans. We’re crazy about CT scans, and it’ll be apparent why after reading about how smokers can benefit from this imaging scan.

So what is a CT scan?

A computed tomography scan, most commonly referred to as a CT or CAT scan, is a popular non-invasive test that utilizes x-rays and computer technology. This combined technology serves as the perfect tool to produce images of the inside of the body that can later be manipulated by radiologists to examine specific areas. 

CT scans are most commonly used to create clearer images than just x-rays can produce alone. Specifically, CT scans are helpful when examining the chest, abdomen, pelvis, or an arm or leg.  Organs are also pictured used computed tomography.

CT Scans and Lung Cancer

After learning more about the technology behind CT scans, you can see why they’re perfect for examining lungs for cancer. This scan is vital to identifying cancer within the lungs, which can help catch cancer in its earlier stages while it’s most treatable. High-risk smokers are more likely to discover lung cancer at a treatable stage after undergoing a CT scan.

How Smokers Can Benefit From CT Scans

High-risk smokers benefit the most from these tests. A high-risk smoker is classified by Medicare as people age 55 to 77 who have a 30 “pack year” smoking history, meaning they’ve smoked a pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, or three packs a day for 10 years.

Many of those who fit this criterion does not get scanned because their doctors aren’t aware of the benefits of CT scans for patients who are at a high risk for lung cancer, according to one doctor. Another expert pointed out that qualified radiologists for lung cancer screenings are hard to find in rural areas where smoking rates are commonly higher. For high-risk patients who live in more populated areas where these imaging procedures are readily available, like San Francisco, there’s no excuse to not get screened.

Fortunately, BICRAD offers the best quality CT scans in the Bay Area. With numerous locations, making an appointment with one of our board-certified radiologists is easy. Getting screened by a CT scan is vital when treating lung cancer for smokers, and the earlier you get yourself screened the better chance you’ll have of effectively treating the disease. Take your health seriously and get a CT scan!