Lung Cancer Symptoms and Screenings

According to the Center for Disease Control, lung cancer is one of the most aggressive and commonplace cancers in the world. More people die from lung cancer than any kind of cancer and over 200,000 new cases are reported every year. The cancer is fast moving and without catching it in the early stages, survival chances decrease rapidly. That is why it is of the utmost importance for most smokers over the age of 55 to be screened with a CT scan for lung cancer.

Do not be fooled. Lung cancer is caused by factors like smoking cigarettes and tobacco but it is still possible to develop this kind of cancer even without participating in these practices. The commonly reported lung cancer symptoms are:

  • a cough that doesn’t seem to go away
  • coughing blood or bloody phlegm
  • severe, constant chest pain
  • shortness of breath or breathing issues

These issues can be commonly confused with a severe cold or sickness and that may be part of the reason why people do not get properly screened. So if you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your physician about getting a low-dose CT scan to check for cancerous  nodules or  masses in the lungs.

Another reason why lung cancer screenings are not occurring in enough frequency is because the #1 reason for lung cancer in Americans is smoking cigarettes. Smokers in today’s market are aware of the health risks, they are written right on the package of cigarettes, but most feel shame at their habit and thus do not take proper precautions to be checked for lung cancer. Shame and fear of what the results will hold are the top reasons more people do not have lung cancer screenings.

While tobacco itself is a dangerous plant, it is the additives in cigarettes that contribute to the developing of lung cancer. Dangerous substances from cigarette smoking include all kinds of  chemicals like nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, cyanide and arsenic. And yet, people continue to smoke them despite information about the ingredients. These chemicals were never manufactured to be ingested but because of nicotine, a highly addictive additive, these chemicals are kept at low amounts so that they don’t kill customers quickly, but rather slowly causes diseases like emphysema and lung cancer, all the while making smokers lifelong customers. A sick cycle indeed.

Doctors Imaging in Metairie has the distinct pride of being the only facility in the Greater New Orleans area that has been certified by the American College of Radiology as a Lung Cancer Screening Center. Because of our equipment, experience and other qualifications, we have been able to offer our services and help detect lung cancer and get our patients the treatment necessary. Our computed tomography capabilities are some of the best because we use the Siemens 64 slice CT, one of the best pieces of equipment on the market.