What you need to know about lung cancer screening in Hawaii
If you’re at high risk for lung cancer, it’s important to get a yearly screening test to help you catch cancer early, when treatment will be more effective.
The Kaiser Permanente lung cancer screening program is available to all members. It uses a low-dose chest CT scan to detect early warning signs.
Who should get the lung cancer screening?
Screening for lung cancer with a chest CT scan is recommended only for patients at high risk of developing lung cancer. Not sure if you’re at risk? If your answer is “yes” to the questions below, you should contact your doctor to discuss whether the screening is right for you:
- Are you a smoker now, or did you quit smoking within the past 15 years?
- Have you smoked at least 30 pack years? (Pack years are the number of packs per day multiplied by the number of years you smoked. For example, 1 pack per day for 30 years equals 30 pack years.)
- Are you 55 to 80 years old?
- Are you healthy enough for follow-up treatment and procedures?
- Are you willing to follow through with needed treatment and procedures?
Does the screening come with any risks?
The chest CT scan emits a low dose of radiation, which carries a small risk of cancer exposure. Your doctor can help you decide whether the benefits of a lung cancer screening outweigh this potential risk.
What do the results mean?
If an abnormality is found, additional testing may be necessary. Studies show that more than 90% of the abnormalities found in lung cancer screening by CT scan aren’t lung cancer.
What can I do to lower my risk of lung cancer?
The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer and protect your lung health is to stop smoking. If you’re ready to quit, we can help you.
Learn more about lung cancer.
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