Good Health Blog

Smokers, stand up and be counted.

- November 18, 2014

You have ridden the riskm smoked for twenty or thirty years, finally made the decision and have given up. For a percentage of smokers who stop some will go on the develop emphysema and lung cancer. This is a fact.

It is recommended that smokers, or ex smokers, between the ages of 55 and 80 who have smoked for 30 pack years, undergo annual low dose CT lung screening. This sceening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery. Basically, you have done the time, you need to do the screening if you want to survive the potential risk of lung cancer. The research shows that early detection makes a difference.

This recommendation came out about ten months ago and I have implemented it in my practice. It works in two ways. You know what you have got, and you know what you have not got. And you have a plan to monitor the situation until risk factors drop back to near those of non smokers (15 years).