Ask a Doctor: I've smoked a pack a day of cigarettes for 40 years. Should I get screened for lung cancer?

Ask a Doctor: I've smoked a pack a day of cigarettes for 40 years. Should I get screened for lung cancer?

July 4th, 2017 by Dr. Matt Aboudara and UT Erlanger Respiratory and Critical Care; member and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society in Life Entertainment

Dr. Matt Aboudara, UT Erlanger Respiratory and Critical Care; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Dr. Matt Aboudara, UT Erlanger Respiratory and Critical...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Q: I am 60 years old and I have smoked one pack a day of cigarettes for 40 years. Should I undergo screening for lung cancer?

A: Probably, yes. Recently, research in this area has shown that performing a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan of the chest annually in high-risk patients saves lives. Current recommendations are to do a LDCT for adults ages 55 to 80 who have smoked for 30 years and who currently smoke or have quit in the last 15 years. For Medicare patients, that age limit is 77. However, screening is not for everyone, and it is recommended that you have a discussion with your doctor to determine if it is right for you.

— Dr. Matt Aboudara,

UT Erlanger Respiratory and Critical Care; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society