Aortic Aneurysm Screening Urged for Older Male Smokers

The US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF)have recommended that men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked should get an ultrasound to screen for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).

Why is screening important? Most AAAs are “silent” until they rupture and AAA ruptures are often fatal.

The Mayo Clinic defines an AAA as “An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. The aorta, about the thickness of a garden hose, runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. Because the aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding”

Screening for an AAA is an easy procedure – its simply an ultrasound of your abdomen, concentrating on the aorta. Canada Diagnostic Centres has been providing AAA screening since 2007 and patients often combine this screening test with our other screening exams for early detection of disease.

What about men over age 65 who have never smoked? the Task Force asks doctors to consider their patients on a case-by-case basis. Patients may have other risk factors which may suggest screening is a good idea, such as a family history of AAA, a history of other vascular aneurysms, atherosclerosis, obesity and hypertension.

Where does that leave women? The evidence isn’t in yet, but this is an area that is being actively studied. Risk factors should definitely be considered.

Should you get a screening ultrasound for AAA? Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and whether this exam is right for you. We would be happy to give you more information about the exam and the other screening tests we provide at Canada Diagnostic. Its easy to contact us at 604-709-8522, or toll-free at 1-877-709-8522. Prefer email? Please contact us at info@canadadiagnostic.com

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular, CT Scans, Early Detection, Heart Disease, Screening Exams, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: aneurysm, aorta, atherosclerosis, Private CT Vancouver, Private MRI Vancouver, private Ultrasound vancouver, and screening.
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Lung Cancer Screening for High Risk Individuals

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) approved annual screening with low-dose CT for individuals at high risk for lung cancer.

The task force recommended annual scans for adults aged 55 to 80 who have a smoking history of 30 pack-years (= 1pack/day for 30 years, 2 packs/day for 15 years) and who currently smoke or who have quit within the past 15 years and who have no symptoms of lung cancer.

The recommendations are in large part based on the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) in the United States, which compared lung cancer screening methods (chest xray vs. CT scans) in current and former smokers. The results showed that people who received low-dose CT scans had a lower risk of dying from lung cancer than people who received standard chest X-rays.

The USPSTF’s recommendation is on par with previous recommendations for screening for breast, colon and cervical cancers – for which survival has increased dramatically following wide-spread screening programs. it is felt that the adoption of CT screening for lung cancer will have a “moderate-to-substantial benefit” in reducing mortality in high-risk individuals.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, Lung Cancer is the second-most frequently diagnosed cancer (after skin cancer) in Canada, and is the leading cause of cancer death in Canadians. Approximately 1 in 11 men, and 1 in 15 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer during their lifetime.

Canada Diagnostic has been providing low-dose CT screening exams for lung cancer since 2002. We also provide screening exams for colon cancer, coronary artery disease and carotid artery disease. If you think that a screening exam might be right for you, talk to your doctor. We would be happy to tell you more about these screening exams – you can call us at 604-709-8522 or visit our Screening Exam webpage here.

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, CT Scans, Early Detection, Lung Cancer, and Screening Exams. Tags: CT Scans, early detection, Lung Cancer Screening, and screening.
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CT Lung Cancer Screening Cuts Deaths

Lung cancer screening by CT, or computed tomography, can reduce lung cancer deaths by detecting the disease at early stages, a new study from the National Cancer Institute says. It was the first time researchers saw a reduction in death as a result of lung screening, experts said.

In the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), more than 53,000 current and past heavy smokers between the ages of 55 and 74 were screened for lung cancer by either low-dose CT scan or standard chest X-ray. Researchers found 20 percent fewer deaths in those screened by CT scan. The data were so statistically convincing the trial was stopped and the results released.

The results demonstrate that such CT screening could benefit older, high-risk patients, aid Dr. Denise Aberle, NLST national principal investigator for the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN).

“We have the potential to save thousands of lives,” if low-dose screening is implemented responsibly, and people with abnormalities are closely followed, Aberle said.

Trial participants smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years and had no symptoms or history of lung cancer. They were screened once a year for three years and followed for an additional five years.

“This is the first time that we have seen clear evidence of a significant reduction in lung cancer mortality with a screening test in a randomized controlled trial,” said Dr. Christine Berg, NLST project officer for the Lung Screening Study. “The fact that low-dose helical CT provides a decided benefit is a result that will have implications for the screening and management of lung cancer for many years to come.”

For more information on this visit:  http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/qa/2002/nlstqaQA

Interested in getting your own lung scan.  Call us for more information at 1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522.  Or visit our website.

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans and Lung Cancer. Tags: CT scan, lung cancer, and screening.
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