Low dose CT Scan for Lung cancer

Discussion created by marciem on Mar 17, 2018
Latest reply on Sep 28, 2018 by avian3


I'm new to this site and to most of you.  


I wanted to put in a plug for this terrific advance in the detection of lung cancer, especially for smokers and ex-smokers.


I'm the poster girl for who this scan was made for.  I quit smoking a little over 5 years ago, after 40+ years smoking.  A year and a half ago I requested this test and my doctor ordered it.  There were nodules on the lungs, which google told me were pretty normal... but the radiologist recommended repeat in 3 months.  Three months later, one of the nodules was "stable or slightly larger", which had my doc send me to a pulmonologist, who flat out said 'Nodules are usually considered benign until proven otherwise... EXCEPT in people who've smoked, in which case they are presumed malignant until prove otherwise."  Ok, now I'm scared.  The nodule was small, small enough that he asked a radiologist if further studies should be done.  And the answer was "YES,  PET scan now".  So that was done, and the nodule lit up like a christmas light (meaning it hypermetabolized the contrast, meaning "probably malignant").  On to biopsy.  The nodule was of a size that the Interventional radiologist said "This is the smallest nodule I will biopsy, any smaller and we'd wait and see a bit".  Biopsy... nonsmall-cell squamous carcinoma.


Ok, at that point I took myself to the Stanford University cancer treatment center.  After more testing and consults, it was determined I was not suitable for surgery because of COPD (also thanks to smoking  )... BUT, SABR (stereotactic ablation) treatment was a viable and effective option since I had no signs of metastases.


Short story long  ... I am one year post treatment, no signs of recurrence, none of the other nodules has grown yet, and the tumor is really most sincerely dead.  All because of early detection by the LOW DOSE CT SCAN FOR LUNG CANCER.


I'm gratified that recently I have even seen TV commercials for this screening, it is a powerful message.  I do have to say it looks like the mountain of cigarettes that the ex-smoker climbs each cigarette has about 1 puff taken out of it... I probably smoked more cigarettes than she climbed, but I sure didn't leave that much behind ...LOL, nope, it all went in my lungs.


Don't wait until you have symptoms of Lung cancer... get tested now.