Lung Cancer Screening: An Early Diagnosis For Life-Saving

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Based on the statistics of World Cancer Research Fund, lung cancer is the most frequent cancer in men, while in women, it is the third most common cancer. In 2018, there were 2 million new cases. Lung cancer screening is a procedure for detecting the existence of lung cancer in persons who are otherwise healthy but have a high risk of developing the disease. 

lung cancer screening

What is lung cancer?

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Lung cancer begins in the lungs and may spread to lymph nodes or other organs in the body, such as the brain. Cancer from other organs also may spread to the lungs. When cancer cells spread from one organ to another, they are called metastases.”

There are two main types of lung cancer:

  • Small cell lung cancer is less prevalent than non-small cell lung cancer and occurs virtually exclusively in heavy smokers.
  • Non-small cell lung cancer is a term for a variety of lung cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma are examples of non-small cell lung cancers.

Causes of lung cancer


Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Based on the statistics of CDC, cigarette smoking is responsible for around 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States. Cigarettes contain around 250 toxic compounds, 69 of which are cancer-causing. 

lung cancer screening

Secondhand smoke

Smoking has a negative impact on not only smokers but people who inhale smoke also. If those who don’t smoke are exposed to secondhand smoke at work or at home, they have a 20 percent to 30 percent higher risk of lung cancer.

Radon exposure 

Radon gas is odorless, colorless, and inactive. It is found in tiny levels in the atmosphere. Outside, radon dissipates quickly and is typically not a health hazard. The majority of radon exposure takes place in households, schools, and workplaces. After entering buildings through cracks and other openings in the foundation, radon gas becomes trapped within. Indoor radon may be regulated and managed using tried-and-true methods.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is found in the environment and can cause lung cancer. Long-term exposure to radon raises your chances of developing lung cancer.

Genetic factors

Faulty genes can be passed on from generation to generation. They have possibilities of preventing your cells from repairing damaged DNA  and your body from removing cancer-causing substances.

Symptoms of lung cancer

There are several main symptoms of lung cancer:

  • A cough that persists for more than two or three weeks
  • A persistent cough that is becoming worse
  • Infections in the chest that continually reappearing
  • Coughed up blood
  • A painful or aching sensation when inhaling or coughing
  • Chronic shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or a lack of vitality that persists
  • Appetite loss or unexplained weight loss

lung cancer screening

What does lung cancer screening support?

Lung cancer screening is a test to see whether you have lung cancer even if you don’t have any symptoms. Lung cancer screening can detect 80% of lung cancer cases early on, when therapy is more effective.

To check for lung cancer, doctors utilize a low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) scan of the lungs. Lung cancer is more likely to be treated with treatment if it is identified early.

X-ray equipment scans the entire body using low amounts of radiation to get comprehensive photos of the lung during this easy examination. This enables our doctors to detect even the tiniest cancers and provides a number of advantages to individuals at high risk of lung cancer.

Who should take lung cancer screening?

The following groups of people have high possibility of suffering from lung cancer so they should perform lung cancer screening:

  • Current or past smokers in their senior years are often provided lung cancer screening.
  • People who have been heavy smokers for a long time should think about getting lung cancer screening. The number of pack-years is derived by multiplying the number of packs smoked each day by the number of years you smoked. If you have a history of smoking for 20 pack-years or longer, it is urgent for you to diagnose lung cancer.
  • People who used to smoke heavily but quit now may consider lung cancer screening.
  • Family members of smoking addicts should get lung cancer screening because they are posed a threat to this disease from breathing secondhand smoke. 
  • People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), those with a family history of lung cancer, and those who have been exposed to asbestos or radon at work are all at risk for lung cancer.

Things to consider when getting lung cancer screening

Apart from the benefits of testing this chronic disease, lung cancer screening may have some risks:

False-positive result

The scan can pick up anything in your lungs that seems to be cancer when no cancer is present. 


A lung cancer screening test can detect cancers that may never cause any problems for the patient, which leads to unnecessary treatment.

Cancer isn’t present

Your lung cancer screening test may be obfuscated or overlooked if you have lung cancer. In certain circumstances, your test results may show that you do not have lung cancer when, in fact, you do.

Low-level radon exposure

During an LDCT, you are exposed to far less radiation than during a typical CT scan. It’s around half of the radiation you’re exposed to in a year from the environment.

Other health issues are being discovered

People who smoke for a long period are more likely to have other health concerns, such as lung and heart disorders, which can be discovered with a lung CT scan. If your doctor discovers another health issue, you may be subjected to additional tests and, in some cases, invasive treatments that you would not have had if you hadn’t undergone lung cancer screening.

Related Articles:

Colorectal (Colon) Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Prevention

Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention 

Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Stages and Prevention

Stomach Cancer: Symptoms and Causes

Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Prevention

Breast Cancer: Symptoms And Causes

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