A CT scan can detect potential cancer in a lung. Computed tomography (CT) scans detect tumors, but do not determine whether they are malignant or not. The doctor will then order additional testing to rule out or confirm a cancer diagnosis.
For some people with occupational asbestos exposure and other risk factors, annual CT scans may be a central part of proactive screenings to try to catch any asbestos-related disease as early as possible. Your doctor may also recommend additional screenings, such as lung function testing. This can help diagnose asbestosis and other conditions related to asbestos exposure.
CT Scans Can Detect Growths in the Lungs
CT scans often play a key role in detecting, treating, and managing lung cancer.
Doctors may use this type of medical imaging to:
- Determine if there is a tumor present.
- Learn if your cancer has spread to nearby organs or bones.
- Learn if treatment is effectively shrinking a tumor.
- Check to see if cancer has returned following a successful removal or treatment.
CT scans work in a different way than X-rays. X-rays take one picture and show only one angle and dimension. CT scans, however, take many pictures, and a computer program combines them to create a very clear, cross-sectional image. This allows doctors to see the normal structure of the lungs and determine if anything is amiss.
Using CT scans, doctors can determine:
- The size of a mass
- The shape of a mass
- The position of a mass
- How quickly a mass is growing (or shrinking during treatment)
In some cases, they may also be able to see if nearby lymph nodes are enlarged, or if cancer has spread to other organs, such as the adrenal glands, liver, or brain. Even when a CT scan shows a mass, however, a doctor cannot confirm your diagnosis based on the scan alone. They need to remove some of the cells from the area of concern and have someone in the laboratory confirm that the cells are cancerous.
This may require one of several procedures:
- CT-guided needle biopsy.
- Surgery and biopsy.
- Draining fluid from the pleural space between the lungs and chest.
- Collecting lung secretions.
You will only be officially diagnosed with lung cancer after the lab tests show malignant cells. A CT scan will not diagnose you with lung cancer.
Annual CT Scans May Help Identify Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer Earlier
All too often, people do not develop symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancers until the disease has advanced too far for treatment to be effective. Survival rates are very low once this type of cancer spreads to areas outside of the chest. For this reason, some doctors recommend annual screenings for those with an increased risk. This would include those with occupational asbestos exposure.
While this type of screening will not identify all types of cancer that affect the lungs, it is a useful tool for doctors to examine the respiratory system.
Smokers Are at an Increased Risk for Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
These screenings may be especially important if you were a smoker or continue to smoke, as this can increase your risk of developing asbestos-related cancer as well as other types of lung cancer.
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Talk to an Asbestos Lung Cancer Attorney About Pursuing Compensation Today
If you have an asbestos-related cancer or another condition related to your exposure to this dangerous material, you may be eligible to participate in a mass tort. For many decades, workers have pursued awards and settlements from asbestos manufacturers related to lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and more.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we do not believe your family should have to pay for your treatment and other expenses when it is the asbestos companies that exposed you to this deadly chemical. We will not shy away from a tough case and will fight for the award you deserve based on the facts of your condition.
Let Us Go to Work on Your Asbestos Case Today
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm handles asbestos legal cases based on contingency. Our clients never pay anything out of pocket. We take our fee from the award we recover for you.
Call (800) 794-0444 for a free evaluation of your case. We want to discuss your eligibility and options today. Let us help protect your health and hold the liable party responsible.