Medical professionals recommend low-dose CT scans to prevent lun - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Medical professionals recommend low-dose CT scans to prevent lung cancer

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CARTERVILLE -- Lung Cancer rates are on the rise in southern Illinois.

The most recent data from Southern Illinois Healthcare indicates 72 out of every 100,000 in Illinois gets diagnosed with lung cancer each year, but that number jumps to nearly 91 people per 100,000 in southern Illinois.

"In our area the smoking population is quite a bit higher so we do want to target those patients and help them out as soon as we can," SIH lung cancer patient navigator Kari Winters said.

Winters recommends getting a low-dose CT screening unless you have a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath or recurring lung infections. You should seek a doctor if you have those issues.

But who should get a low-dose CT scan?

Medicare guidelines say you should be 55 or older, if you have a long history of smoking at least a pack a day and if you're currently smoking or recently quit.

"A low dose CT scan is nothing to be scared of," Dr. Mary Rosenow, medical director of the SIH Cancer Institute, said.

The procedure only takes five to ten seconds and could save your life.

"It can give a person who has been smoking for many years some peace of mind," Dr. Rosenow said. "And also get them into the system so we can help motivate people who want to quit smoking."

Rosenow says you'll need to contact your primary care provider to schedule an exam.

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