Lung Cancer Detection in Louisiana Made Easy

Lung cancer is a devastating condition to suffer. There are as many as 200,000 new cases of lung cancer to be diagnosed in 2015 and as almost 160,000 people will die from lung cancer related complications. This translates to about 1 in 13 men and 1 in 16 women will be likely to develop lung cancer. You can see that lung cancer statistics in the United States are alarming which is why Louisiana doctors are committed to finding innovative ways and techniques to both detect and treat lung cancer.

As a patient, the symptoms of lung and or bronchi cancer can be difficult to see at first. Symptoms of lung cancer could be can be innocuous things like a cough that won’t seem to go away, chest pain with deep breathing or coughing, shortness of breath, feeling tired and weak or hoarseness in the voice. As you can see from this symptom list, these symptoms could be a bad chest cold. That is why lung cancer diagnoses are made when the cancer has become serious or terminal because people are not trained to recognize the signs.

Like most cancers, there can be one reason or several reasons why someone develops cancer. Dangerous lifestyle habits like cigarette or tobacco smoking is one of the most common causes of lung cancer. The Center for Disease Control has named smoking as “the number one risk factor for lung cancer” linking the habit to over 90% of lung cancer diagnoses. Even if you are not a smoker, working or living around secondhand smoke can lead to lung cancer. Cigarette smoke is loaded with carcinogens and other toxic chemicals like tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide that can develop into lung cancer without ever even smoking a cigarette. Other risk factors for lung cancer include radon exposure, a naturally occurring gas that can be trapped in homes and buildings, that rises from the ground. Surprisingly, radon exposure can account for about 20,000 cases of lung cancer. You can have your home or office tested for radon levels and the EPA has a set of guidelines for lowering the radon levels in your dwelling. Other risk factors for lung cancer include family history or genetic issues as well as exposure to toxic substances like asbestos and chromium.

Louisiana is one state in particular that has a high instance of lung cancer. 68 per 100,000 residents have lung cancer and 50 per 100,000 die every year from the condition in Louisiana alone. With statistics like this, it is lucky that lung cancer detection in Louisiana has been made easier and more advanced with the help of local facilities like Doctors Imaging in Metairie. Out of the entire state, there are only 5 medical imaging centers that have received the accreditation of the American College of Radiology’s certificate of being an approved lung cancer screening facility.

Because of the prevalence of lung cancer in Louisiana, detection facilities have to be held to a higher standard. Accreditation from the American College of Radiology comes from outstanding factors like equipment used, experience of physicians and technicians as well as the education of patients concerning their conditions and imaging procedures. Doctors Imaging is the only facility in the greater New Orleans area to receive the accreditation and is proud to be a trusted place for lung cancer detection in Louisiana.

If you think that you may have lung cancer or would like to set up an appointment to discuss preventative measures, please contact Doctors Imaging in Metairie at 504-833-8111 Monday through Friday from 8AM to 6 PM. If you are not within the New Orleans area, you can view a list of ACR accredited lung cancer screening facilities in Louisiana to find a location that is closer to you.

The Better Health You’ll Get When You Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst vices to have. Thankfully, over the past 50 years, the research and education about the dangers of smoking has become widespread. Nationally, there are still some that pick up the habit. For those smokers out there, quitting cigarettes is like the saying “better late than never.” It’s hard but there are ways to do it. Let’s examine them.

Nicotine Patches and Gum

Nicotine is the highly addictive chemical additive in cigarettes that keeps you coming back for more. In a way, it is just as deadly as the dangerous carcinogens found in cigarettes because they allow for just enough to not immediately harm you (you can actually overdose on nicotine) but enough to keep you addicted. Nicotine gum has proven effective at stopping people in the beginning of their transition out of smoking cigarettes. In the beginning, you are taking in about the same amount of nicotine and then slowly decrease your levels in an effort to wean yourself off the habit of smoking. For many smokers, one of the hardest parts of quitting is losing that oral habit, so chewing gum can be helpful in keeping that bit of routine. However, be careful not to give into the cravings when you are using nicotine replacement products. The overload of nicotine to your system can have harmful side effects.

Electronic Cigarettes

The sale of electronic cigarettes or e-cig has exploded in the last 3-5 years. Former smokers can still have the sensation of smoking cigarette without any of the carcinogens or the harmful second hand smoke. They are allowed to be used in most places so if a craving should hit, you can employ it. The e-cig is actually filled with a solution of “propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings” and then superheated to a breathable vapor. Like the patch and gum, the nicotine in the e-cig solution is supposed to decrease your smoking until you don’t have the urge anymore. Electronic cigarettes have come under fire because of the potential health risks of the chemicals in the solution, some say that it just acts as a stall before actually quitting, but there are solutions that do not use nicotine, do your research and speak to your doctors about your quitting solutions.

Quitting Prescriptions

Some smokers have found relief from the addiction through nicotine replacement therapy found with certain prescription medicines. The two major brands of anti-smoking medications are Zyban and Chantix. Zyban contains the active ingredient Bupropion and is helps to lessen the urge to smoke while Chantix contains Varenicline which helps with nicotine withdrawal and if a smoker does decide to smoke again the medicine blocks the nicotine from cigarettes. These medicines are still in their infancy and have serious side effects such as “nausea, sleep disturbance, constipation, flatulence, and vomiting as well as headaches, abnormal dreams and taste disturbance” as well as some psychological problems.

Weaning oneself off of any addiction is extremely difficult that is why if you are attempted this journey, find support, reach out to an online community and don’t participate in the same activities where you once smoked. The benefits of quitting smoking, no matter when, can be felt immediately. Former smokers report better moods, better digestion, better taste, better sleep patterns and not to mention the long-term health benefits.

LUNG CANCER SCREENING

Doctors Imaging in Metairie has been officially accredited by the American College of Radiology as a Certified Lung Cancer Screening Center. By using low-dose CT capability, radiologists are able to determine the presence of lung cancer better than ever before. Because of our state of the art 64-slice Siemens CT, our radiologists’ experience and highly trained staff, patients of Doctors Imaging can be assured that their lung cancer screening is thorough. Thanks to this accreditation, Doctors Imaging often sees the damage of smoking on the body and encourages the benefits of quitting smoking as soon as possible. We recommend that if you are over 50 and used to or still smoke cigarettes or tobacco, you should consider a lung screening. The earlier lung cancer is detected and treatment begun, the higher one’s chances are of survival.

If you would like to schedule a lung cancer screening CT or you have more questions about CT capabilities at Doctors Imaging, you can Book an Appointment or you can call our office at 504-833-8111 Monday through Saturday.

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.

The Importance of Low-Dose CTs as Lung Cancer Screenings

Lung cancer is one of the most prominent cancers in the United States and throughout much of the world. Because of the prevalence of cigarette smoking and the subsequent secondhand smoke, more people than ever before are being diagnosed with lung tumors and cancer. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2010 alone, as many as 158,248 people died from lung cancer.

As the tobacco industry continues to expand, we as consumers can expect these morbid statistics to increase as well. Every year over 200,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer and have to begin treatment. What can be done to combat these overwhelming statistics?

To begin, education about the seriousness and detrimental effect that smoking has on the body must continue. Different anti-tobacco coalitions have been successful in their efforts of creating shock and disgust at the consequences of smoking like this commercial or this experiment. Children need to be shown these horrifying effects early in their education and the other harmful symptoms can results due to smoking: premature aging, fertility problems, tooth decay, mouth cancer, mood imbalances and many other side effects. If children are given the truth, a truth they can see and touch, they will probably be less inclined to try smoking as teenagers or adults.

But it isn’t just children that need to learn the dangers of lung cancer. Parents, teachers and other role models need to set an example that smoking is a serious and harmful habit that only leads to sickness, disease, and ultimately death. In addition to practicing what they preach in their own life, adults can do their part to protect their children and friends by supporting legislation that seeks to eradicate workplace smoking in places like bars, music venues, and casinos. The employees that work in these areas are only trying to make a living for their family and yet they are exposed to massive amounts of secondhand smoke every day. So many stories already exist of service industry workers contracting lung cancer even though they themselves has never smoked a cigarette in their life. It should be stopped for their protection.

This life-changing diagnosis of lung cancer can be prevented or at the very least hindered. Come to Doctors Imaging in Metairie to have a low-dose lung cancer screening test performed. By having a low-dose CT scan performed, you can reduce the amount of radiation you’ll be exposed to as well as getting a clear picture of the condition of your lungs.

You may qualify for a low-dose CT lung cancer screening test if you meet the following conditions:

The current recommendation applies to adults without symptoms aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Having this procedure performed will help to give you, your doctors and your family better understanding of your medical condition and what the next steps should be in getting you healthy. The best part about this procedure is that it is only $99 at Doctors Imaging in Metairie as opposed to the $150-200 price tag at hospitals. Currently, insurance plans do not cover this procedure so finding it for an affordable price is extremely beneficial for families of all incomes. There are occasional Saturdays when Doctors offers the screening test for free.

Why is this procedure so important? By having a screening test done early, before symptoms begin arriving, your doctors can determine if there are treatments available to save lives. By having this procedure performed, the risk of death due to lung cancer can drop by almost 20%. Prevention and early detection are the best methods for staying healthy and with your family for longer, so consider Doctors Imaging in Metairie for your low-dose CT lung cancer screening test.

Schedule your low-dose CT lung cancer screening test online today, or by calling 504-883-8111.