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:
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
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
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