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Common Lung Cancer Screening: A Comprehensive Overview

Lung cancer stands as one of the foremost malignant diseases globally, with over 2 million new cases and more than 1 million deaths recorded annually. In Vietnam, a staggering 62.5% of hospitalized patients lack the ability to undergo surgery. Lung cancer screening involves the utilization of clinical and subclinical measures to detect the disease in asymptomatic individuals, thereby facilitating early cancer detection and enhancing treatment efficacy. It’s imperative to acknowledge that early detection plays a pivotal role in determining the prognosis for patients.

1. The Significance of Lung Cancer Screening

1.1. Why Screen for Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer manifests insidiously, often remaining asymptomatic in its early stages. Symptoms typically become apparent only when the tumor has grown substantially, invading neighboring tissues. The majority of early-stage lung cancer cases are incidentally discovered during routine health examinations or screenings for other medical conditions.

The primary goal of lung cancer screening is to identify the disease in its early stages when treatment outcomes are favorable. Conversely, late-stage diagnosis, characterized by conspicuous symptoms, usually indicates a complex treatment process with diminished survival rates. Studies indicate that lung cancer screening reduces mortality rates associated with the disease. Thus, early detection significantly impacts treatment efficacy and patient survival.

1.2. Who Should Undergo Lung Cancer Screening?

Screening for malignant tumors in the lungs is recommended for healthy individuals at high risk, including:

– Individuals aged 50 and above who are current or former smokers.

– Heavy smokers over prolonged periods: Screening may be considered for individuals with a history of smoking one pack per day for 20 years, two packs per day for 10 years, or half a pack per day for 40 years.

– Former smokers: Individuals with a significant history of prolonged smoking, even if they quit 15 years ago, should still undergo lung cancer screening.

– Individuals with other risk factors such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a family history of lung cancer, or prolonged exposure to hazardous substances (chromium, nickel, asbestos, cadmium, arsenic, etc.).

The Significance of Lung Cancer Screening

Smoking is one of the primary factors contributing to an increased risk of lung cancer.

2. Current Lung Cancer Screening Methods

The four common lung cancer screening methods include:

2.1. Chest X-ray (CXR)

Most lung tumors appear as white masses on X-ray images. However, CXR alone may not provide an accurate diagnosis of lung cancer, as it can be challenging to differentiate between cancer and other conditions such as lung consolidation.

2.2. Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) for Lung Cancer Screening

LDCT is the recommended technique for lung cancer screening. It employs low-dose radiation to produce detailed images of the lungs, offering a non-invasive and relatively painless procedure. In cases where abnormalities are detected on LDCT scans, further investigations such as PET/CT scans or biopsies may be warranted to confirm malignancy.

Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) for Lung Cancer Screening

Low-dose chest CT scan

2.3. Bronchoscopy

Bronchoscopy involves the insertion of a thin, lighted tube equipped with a small camera into the lungs through the nose or mouth, allowing for internal lung examination. It is utilized to assess suspicious lesions identified on X-ray or CT scans. Any abnormal findings within the airways can undergo biopsy for pathological examination to confirm or rule out cancer.

2.4. Lung Biopsy

In this procedure, a biopsy needle is used to extract lung tissue samples for examination. It can be performed as either a closed or open procedure. Lung biopsy is indicated when suspicious lesions cannot be definitively characterized through other imaging modalities.

3. Considerations for Lung Cancer Screening

Most individuals do not require specific preparations before undergoing lung tumor detection screening. Generally, patients should ensure adequate rest and relaxation before their appointment. Any additional instructions regarding fasting or special precautions will be provided by healthcare providers.

Lung Cancer Screening Methods

Thu Cuc TCI offers a variety of lung cancer screening packages suitable for various customer demands.

Patients experiencing illness or any respiratory infections should inform their healthcare provider promptly. Rescheduling of screening appointments may be necessary to ensure accurate results.

For CT scans, patients will typically be required to:

– Change into a gown.

– Remove jewelry, necklaces, earrings, rings, or any metallic objects.

– Assume the correct position on the CT scanning table.

Recognizing the symptoms of lung cancer based solely on clinical manifestations is challenging, as early-stage cases often present vague symptoms, easily mistaken for infections or chronic smoking-related reactions. Therefore, proactive lung cancer screening is advisable for all individuals to detect the risk of this hazardous disease early on. For consultation and assistance in scheduling screenings with experienced medical professionals, individuals are encouraged to contact the TCI – Thu Cuc Healthcare System.

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