Convincing a loved one who’s at risk for lung cancer and would benefit from a scan can be challenging if they’re unfamiliar with the procedure. Lung PET scans are straightforward and provide information valuable for cancer detection and treatment.
Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer?
The National Cancer Institute recommends that high-risk smokers between 55 and 80 years old seek lung cancer screenings. The CDC classifies a high-risk smoker as one who smokes one pack a day for 30 years or two a day for 15 years.
Lung cancer symptoms usually don’t manifest until the disease is at an advanced stage, which is why receiving regular screenings is so important. Early-stage symptoms are rare, but here are some signs to look for:
- A persistent or worsening cough
- Frequent chest infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarse voice
Know What Happens During Screening
PET scans for lung cancer yield results within 24 hours. The first part of the process is an injection with a radioactive tracer that pinpoints radiation in the body. This injection takes a few seconds and presents little pain.
The patient waits for an hour while the tracer spreads through the body. Then, they’ll lay down on a screening table, which slides into a scanning machine. The machine will then scan the body for radiation for a duration of about 20 to 40 minutes.
After the scan is completed, you can return home to wait for the results.
Be sure to remind your loved one that they should avoid eating four to six hours before the screening, although drinking water is fine. Let the doctor know of current medications or allergies. Insulin users should be aware the injection contains a small amount of glucose.
Know the Facts About Smoking and Cancer
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death within the U.S., and this is due to the harmful chemicals in tobacco products. Smoking affects virtually every organ in the body, meaning cancer can develop in multiple areas besides the lungs.
Once someone has lung cancer, their survival rate drops to 17%. Due to the disease often being discovered in its advanced stages, lung cancer causes more deaths than colon, prostate and breast cancer combined. Talking to your loved one about the risks could help you convince them to get a lung PET scan to avoid the uncertainty and heartbreak of living with cancer.
Contact Adams Diagnostic Imaging Center
Adams Diagnostic Imaging Center offers caring and affordable imaging services from highly trained radiologists. We cater to your comfort and flexibility while providing accurate results. Contact us to request more information or schedule an appointment for you or a loved one.