Out of the 94 million current and former smokers in the United States, 160,000 of them die of lung cancer. However, recent studies show that 14% of these deaths could have been prevented if those patients received a CT screening for lung cancer. Early detection of tumors in the lungs could have saved those patients’ lives.
In the past, there was uncertainty about the advantages of the CT screening because of the potential side effects of radiation exposure. But now, after a number of large clinical trials, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued an updated draft of recommendations. Smokers between the age of 55 and 80 who smoked a pack a day for over 30 years—even if they quit within the past 15 years—are more at risk of developing lung cancer. So, the USPSTF recommends that these smokers should get a low-dose CT scan to search for possible tumors. Ultimately, this would lead to more early-stage-cancer detection, saving thousands of lives. Read the draft to learn more about USPSTF recommendations:
Some doctors doubt these new standards. They believe that the CT screening can lead to unnecessary procedures like biopsies. However, researchers are developing new methods of screening that involves blood testing, breath testing, and even saliva testing. These different methods of screening can help identify a high-risk patient.
The medical field is constantly changing with updated research to help improve patient care and to prevent tragic deaths. Make sure you are aware of these changes that can save your life or your family member’s life.
If you suspect that your loved one was severely injured or died because the health care provider did not perform new standard procedures like scanning for early-stage-cancer detection, call us today at (202)393-3320 so we can start working with you to get answers and information that will help your family.