Following your scan, the images are reviewed by a doctor who specializes in diagnosing lung cancer through imaging tests.
There are a number of possible results, such as:
- No abnormalities discovered. In this case your doctor will recommend another screening CT in a year.
- Lung nodules. Small spots might appear in the lungs that could be early lung cancer, but could also be scars from old lung infections or other noncancerous growths.
- Most small nodules don’t need immediate attention and can be followed up by CT in six or 12 months depending on size.
- Larger or suspicious nodules might require additional testing, such as three-month follow-up CT, PET scan or biopsy.
Other findings such as heart disease, emphysema or infection could require medical attention.
Specialists on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White facilities provide crucial follow-up care and treatment guidance if your physician discovers a lung nodule or lesion. Your team will do a comprehensive assessment of your condition, discuss your concerns and questions, and develop a plan of care.
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that you stop getting screenings when you turn 81 years old or have not smoked for at least 15 years. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine how long screening should continue.