Low-dose CT scans may detect lung cancer sooner

February 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Lung cancer patients often have a grim outlook after diagnosis but technology is helping doctors find possible problems sooner.

Retired Police Officer Jack Meduna's house isn't a pigsty, but it is full of pigs.

Meduna said, "It really stands for pride, intelligence, and guts."

Jack knows all about guts. As a cop for 34 years, he dedicated his life to protecting others, but says now it's time to protect himself.

Meduna said, "I'm not proud to say, but I've been smoking for 50 some odd years."

Meduna was one of the first to get a low-dose CT scan to check for signs of lung cancer.

Physician David K. Madtes, MD said, "A cancer as small as one centimeter can be detected. So that's about a half of an inch."

X-rays can only detect tumors of more than an inch. Regular CT scans can put patients at risk for developing other cancers, exposing them to eight units of radiation. With this low dose scan, exposure can drop to two units.

Madtes said, "It's about the amount of exposure we all have to atmospheric radiation over the course of one year."

Detecting lung cancer at its earliest stage and having it removed, means a person can expect a five year survival rate of 70-percent.

Now after Meduna's scans he said, "The report said there's no sign of problem in my lungs."

Now he's focused on getting healthy and staying that way.


Load Comments