Lung cancer screenings can save smokers’ lives and money: Dr. Janette Nesheiwat
The United States Preventive Task Force now recommends CT lung scans for smokers between the ages of 50 and 80
CT scans of the lungs are now being recommended to smokers in order detect cancer early, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat told FOX Business' "Mornings with Maria."
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Dr. Janette Nesheiwat: "The new guidance that the United States Preventive Task Force recommends if you are a smoker and you're between the ages of 50 and 80 and you have been smoking about a pack a day for the past 20 years, then you need a CAT scan of your lungs. Also, if you quit smoking sometime in the past 15 years, then you're also a candidate to get screening. And this is very important because it showed that we can pick up early cancers, early lesions, and if you pick it up early, that usually could mean a better outcome, better prognosis if we catch it early before it spreads. Very important.
The studies were based on cigarette smoking. Now, if you think about it, could hookah smoking cause similar issues? Could vaping cause similar cancers? That's a possibility because whenever you inhale, you are causing irritation to the lining of the lungs. And that irritation over time can cause the cells to change and could lead to cancer, can lead to tumors. And not only can you pick up these lesions early... you're going to be saving a lot of money in addition to saving lives. You know, the screening cascade only costs about $300 on average, but the cost of treating lung cancer can be upwards up to $100,000 a month. So saving money, you're saving lives. And it's important to know that if you're a smoker, you increase your risk of lung cancer by 20 fold."
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The recommendation is to get it once a year. Then they looked it's a low dose CAT scan, so they give you the lowest possible dose. It's still recommended. The scientists and researchers found that the benefits of this low dose radiation outweighs any risk of potential cancers from the radiation with these CAT scans. So they looked at that risk-benefit ratio and it's still more beneficial to get that low dose. That's the key. It's a low-dose CT scan and it's something that could potentially save your life.