Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) Screening Center of Excellence
Renown Regional Medical Center has been named a Screening Center of Excellence by The Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) for its ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening.
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Most cases of lung cancer stem from a history of smoking tobacco, but there are other known causes. It’s important to take the steps to eliminate all of the causes from your lifestyle and environment, such as:
- Tobacco smoke: The most important step you can take to prevent lung cancer is to avoid tobacco smoke altogether, including secondhand smoke.
- Radon: This chemical element occurs naturally in the environment. It’s odorless and colorless, which means testing is the only way to find out if it’s present in your home. Most hardware stores sell radon testing kits and radon mitigation systems. You can also obtain a radon test kit from the Nevada Radon Education Program.
Call the Nevada Radon Education Program about a Test Kit at 1-888-RADON10.
- Asbestos: This fibrous mineral is also naturally occurring, and, until 1977, was commonly used as insulation in buildings. If you suspect your home contains asbestos, contact a local asbestos testing and removal service.
- Diesel exhaust: Avoid exposure to diesel fumes. The World Health Organization found that diesel exhaust not only causes lung cancer, but other cancers as well.
- Chemical exposure: Always take the necessary steps to protect yourself from inhaling harmful particles, fumes and gasses by wearing appropriately rated masks or respirators.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and around 80 percent of those deaths can be attributed to smoking. So while causes of lung cancer can be varied, the people who are at the highest risk of developing lung cancer are those with a history of smoking tobacco.
You should be screened for lung cancer if you meet all of the following risk factors:
- Are between 55 and 77 years old.
- Do not have any signs or symptoms (diagnostic testing may be recommended for those who do have signs or symptoms).
- Have not had lung cancer before.
- Currently smoke or quit less than 15 years ago.
- Are or were a heavy smoker (one pack per day for 30 years, or two packs per day for 15 years).
If you meet all of the risk factors, ask your doctor for a referral to Renown’s Lung Cancer Screening Program. You will then meet with an oncology nurse practitioner to review the risks and benefits of screening. Studies have shown that screening those at high risk with CT scans before symptoms appear can find lung cancer early when it is easier to treat and more likely to be cured.
Low-Dose CT Scan
Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) has proven to find lung cancer at its earliest stages, while using roughly a quarter of the radiation as a normal CT scan. During the screening, you will lie on your back with your hands above your head. Your doctor will ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds while he or she takes a series of pictures. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and you do not need to do anything special to prepare for the screening.