A closer look inside the body helps find small problems before they become big. Work with your primary care physician to coordinate your overall prevention strategy.
Lung Cancer Screening
According to the CDC website, an annual lung cancer screening is recommended for individuals who meet three criteria, “have a 20-pack/year or more smoking history, and; smoke now or have quit within the past fifteen years, and; are between the ages of 50-80.” This screening is conducted via a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan which takes only a few minutes to complete. The CT scan has been proven more effective than chest X-rays at identifying abnormal growth in the lungs and early detection of lung cancer. Portions of the cost of lung cancer screening is often covered by insurance.
Blood Pressure Screening
Blood pressure screening is done routinely with most doctor visits, but you should be sure to have it checked once a year. Blood pressure can also be self-monitored with an at-home blood pressure monitor, or many pharmacies and grocery stores offer blood pressure check stations. If you monitor at home, take multiple readings to ensure accuracy. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. If you are self-monitoring and get a reading outside of the normal range, contact your doctor.
A SPECT (single-photon emission computerized tomography) scan is an imaging test that can identify brain, heart, and bone issues. The scan produces 3D images through the use of a radioactive substance and special cameras. These images help your doctor to see how your organs are functioning. For example, blood flow in the brain. A radiologist or doctor trained in nuclear medicine will review your images and send results to your doctor. Insurance may or may not cover this scan.
By Tami Pyles
P.S. For more information, check out other preventative screenings in the links found above, along with this one.