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Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) is frequently used for patients who have a high risk of developing lung cancer since it can visualize small tumors not identified on chest x-rays. There are two main types of lung cancer: non- small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. However, smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. The patient must be between the age of 55-80 years old and have a 30 pack-year smoking history, currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years to qualify for a LDCT scan. The main benefit of LDCT is that it can detect lung cancer early resulting in a greater survival rate. However, there are a few risks associated with undergoing a LDCT scan such as incidental findings, false positives, and radiation induced cancer. Incidental findings may result in additional testing for the patient but may be beneficial for their health. False positives can also result in unnecessary testing for the patient which can increase radiation dose and financial costs. Radiation induced cancer is a major concern with lung cancer screenings, but LDCT scans have a radiation dose of 1.5 mSv per annual exam compared to a standard chest CT which has a radiation dose of 8 mSv.
Low dose computed tomography, lung cancer, smoking
Medicine and Health Sciences
Roman, Kayla, "Low Dose Computed Tomography and Lung Cancer" (2020). Medical Imaging Senior Posters. 3.