Lung Health

If you have symptoms that may signal lung cancer, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about your health; your lifestyle, including smoking habits; your family history; and whether you have been around certain chemicals or substances.

One or more of the following tests may be used to find out if you have lung cancer and if it has spread. These tests also may be used to find out if treatment is working.

Tests and proeedures to determine lung cancer include:

  • X-ray
  • Low-Dose Lung CT Scan: The type of low-dose CT scan that is recommended for lung cancer screening is a newer form of CT scan. These scans are very detailed and can show early-stage lung cancers that may be too small to be detected by a traditional X-ray
  • MRI Scan
  • PET Scan
  • Bronchoscopy: A thin flexible tube with a tiny camera is inserted through the nose or mouth and down into the lungs. A bronchoscope also can be used to take a small tissue sample for biopsy.
  • Transbronchial needle aspiration: TBNA is a procedure which uses a special kind of telescope to see inside the airways. It also uses ultrasound to allow doctors to take samples of tissue just outside the lungs.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound: EBUS is a technique to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery. The samples are then used for diagnosing and staging lung cancer, detecting infections, and identifying inflammatory diseases that affect the lungs, such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis or other cancers like lymphoma. This diagnosis will allow for quicker and more accurate treatment. EBUS is done as an outpatient, with moderate sedation and only takes about 30 minutes. Dr. Clifford Courville is the first in Lake Charles to use this technique. Previously patients had to travel to Lafayette or Houston for this procedure.

Lung cancer treatment options include:

Screenings Can Save Lives

The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. The best way to determine whether or not you should be screened for lung cancer is to speak with your doctor. Tell your doctor about your risk factors, including high exposure to cancer-causing substances such arsenic, cadmium, soot, coal smoke, silica, beryllium, nickel, diesel fumes, asbestos, arsenic, and chromium. You can also take the online survey on the American Lung Association website for more information.

  • If you are a smoker or if you used to be a smoker, we encourage you to schedule a lung cancer screening. This simple test could save your life. At Lake Charles Memorial, we offer low-dose CT lung cancer screenings. If you meet the at-risk criteria, many insurance companies now cover this screening.
You should consider scheduling a screening if the following factors identify you as high risk:
  • Between the ages of 55 and 74
  • You have a history of heavy smoking, which means 30 “pack years” or more, one pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years
  • You are a current smoker or you quit smoking less than 15 years ago

You should also have a screening if this set of factors applies to you:

  • You are age 50 or over
  • You have a history of smoking 20 “pack years", one pack a day for 20 years, or two packs a day for 10 years
  • You have another risk factor such as high exposure to radon; exposure to airborne carcinogens; former diagnosis of a cancer related to smoking; or a family history of cancer

Smoking Cessation

Free smoking cessation classes and resources are offered by the Tobacco Control Initiative at Moss Memorial Health Clinic, 1000 Walters St, Lake Charles, LA. Registration is required. Call JoAnn Brooks, Smoking Cessation Specialist, for more information or to register for the next class at 480-8308.

For more information on lung health issues, call (337) 494-2750