Triangle doctors use new low-dose scanner to detect lung cancer early



RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — November is World Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and a new non-invasive X-ray screening is helping doctors at Triangle find lung cancer early.

The new technology uses a low-dose scanner. It takes multiple shots while lying on a table that slides in and out of the machine.

A computer then combines the images into a detailed picture of your lungs.

“The resolution is amazing,” explained Dr. Greg Bortoff, radiologist at Raleigh Radiology. “The speed of imaging has advanced tremendously, so these scans take around 5-10 seconds.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in America according to the American Lung Association.

But experts say if caught before it spreads, the chance of surviving five or more years increases to 60%.

“Early-stage lung cancer is treatable,” Bortoff explained. “The vast majority of early stage one lung cancers are curable. And, so the idea is that the sooner you can get cancer, in this case lung cancer, the greater the likelihood that you can heal the patient.”

Dozens of Triangle healthcare facilities have this new scanning technology, including Wakemed and Raleigh Radiology.

In many cases, Medicare and many private health insurance plans cover low-dose CT screening for lung cancer, including former smokers over 50 who quit within the past 15 years.

For a quiz to see if you qualify for a scan, click here.

To find a facility near you, click here.

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