Doctors recommending annual CT scan for long-time smokers - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Doctors recommending annual CT scan for long-time smokers

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Doctors now recommend long-time smokers get annual CT scans to check for lung cancer, even if they don't have symptoms.

Mona Deshotel, 56, got the screening - and she's grateful she did. Doctors found a cancerous nodule and removed it from her left lung.

A recent study looked at smokers aged 55 to 74 who smoked on average a pack a day for 30 years. Researchers split the group in half - one group got an annual low-dose CT scan once a year for three years; the other got a standard chest x-ray. Death rates were 20 percent lower in the CT group.

"They'd have an initial scan and then scanned annually unless we found something and then there might be additional scans in addition to that," explained Dr. Ben Thompson, a pulmonologist.

Mona's nodule tested positive for cancer, but most are benign. She feels she has a second chance and is vowing to never smoke again.

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