Risk Factors and Screening
Smoking and secondhand smoke is the leader risk factor for lung cancer.
Other risk factors include:
- Exposure to radon, asbestos or uranium
- Inhaled chemicals such as arsenic, mustard gas, silica
- Diesel exhaust
- Air pollution
- Past radiation therapy to the lungs
- Arsenic in drinking water
- Family history of lung cancer
- Dietary supplements
Low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) screening can save the lives of people at high risk for lung cancer. This screening, which takes less than 10 seconds, can provide a more detailed picture than an X-ray while using less radiation than a standard CT scan. Studies have shown that LDCT can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are at high risk.
You may qualify for this lung cancer screening if you are:
- Between the age of 55 and 74
- Currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years
- Have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 or more years
If you meet the criteria, contact your primary care physician and ask for a referral to Carle for a low-dose CT lung screening. Qualified candidates may be scheduled for the screening at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.