Lung Cancer Screening

Texas Tech Physician, Dr. Raed Alalawi, and the UMC Southwest Cancer Center continue to advance cancer care with a new lung cancer screening program that will improve the early detection and treatment of lung cancer in our region.

How do I know if I should be screened?

Currently, lung cancer screening is recommended for those between the ages of 55 and 80 who have a smoking history of 30 years or more (an average of one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.) and are current smokers or have quit in the last 15 years.

How does it work?

We use a low-dose helical CT scan, which utilizes X-rays to obtain a multiple-image scan of the entire chest. These scans are able to detect lung cancer during the early stages, which makes it more treatable. As a result, there is now a 1 in 5 chance of NOT dying from lung cancer--a number that was not possible before.

Smoking Cessation Program

Because the treatment of lung cancer is futile if you continue to smoke, this new screening program is closely tied to a smoking cessation program. This program includes:

  • Increasing participants' motivation to quit smoking
  • Learning effective approaches for quitting
  • Therapy groups
  • UMC psychologists trained to assist patients' quitting efforts

Before your screening appointment:

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restriction.
  • Write any symptoms you are experiencing (even those that seem unrelated).
  • Make a list of all medications, supplements or vitamins you are taking.
  • Write down key personal information including stresses or recent life changes.
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