CRL radiologists have developed a low-dose CT lung cancer-screening program. A person who undergoes a low-dose screening exam for lung cancer will receive a radiation dose equivalent to about one-half the yearly radiation dose the average Minnesotan receives from natural sources. Specifically, you are exposed to 3 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation from your surroundings each year, and a low-dose chest CT will expose you to 1.5 mSv.
A screening CT is capable of revealing cancer at an early stage. Symptomatic lung cancer is often advanced and difficult to treat, let alone cure. The objective of screening CT is to detect small, asymptomatic, curable cancers.
About the procedure
The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT exam table, lying flat on your back. Next, the table will move quickly through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. The table will then move slowly though the machine as the actual CT scan is performed. You may be asked to hold your breath during the scan. Any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images that are similar to blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object. When the exam is complete, you will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are of sufficient quality for accurate interpretation. You can expect your appointment to last about 15 minutes, though the scan itself takes only about 15 seconds.
Follow – up
A board-certified radiologist will interpret the exam and provide a report to your physician within 24 hours. Any significant findings requiring immediate attention will be called to your doctor the day of the exam. If you do not have a referring physician’s order, CRL Imaging will mail you a copy of your report within 24 hours of interpretation.