In Malaysia, the battle against lung cancer is particularly challenging, as it remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. When compared to other cancers, lung cancer patients in Malaysia have one of the poorest one-year and five-year survival rates, as detailed in local medical reports.

The Benefits of Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT)

Recent clinical trials have heralded the use of annual Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) screenings as a groundbreaking strategy in combatting lung cancer fatalities. These screenings have demonstrated a potential to decrease death rates by as much as 20% in individuals considered at high risk. The critical advantage of LDCT lies in its ability to identify early-stage lung cancer—typically asymptomatic at its inception—enabling timely and effective treatment options. Moreover, this technique exposes patients to lower radiation levels compared to standard chest CT scans, enhancing its safety profile.

Key Advantages of LDCT:

  • Detects minute lung nodules, often imperceptible via conventional chest X-rays.
  • Identifies early-stage lung cancer, allowing for intervention before the disease advances.
  • Utilizes a lower radiation dose than traditional CT scans, minimizing patient radiation exposure.
  • Does not necessitate IV contrast.

Who Should Consider LDCT Screening?

Ideal candidates for LDCT include:

  • Heavy smokers aged 55 and above, with a smoking history equating to 20 cigarettes daily over 30 years, or 40 cigarettes for 15 years, and those who have ceased smoking within the last 15 years.
  • Individuals with prolonged exposure to hazardous environments, particularly those containing Asbestos.
  • Those with a history of chronic lung diseases like COPD or chronic bronchitis.

Additional candidates who may benefit:

  • Non-smokers living with a smoker.
  • Individuals with a family history of lung cancer.
  • Persons over 40 with no prior cancer diagnosis.

Preparing for Your LDCT Screening

The LDCT screening is straightforward, requiring no special preparatory measures. Normal dietary habits can be maintained, as the procedure does not involve radiation injections.

Steps to prepare:

  • Arrive at the imaging department 15-30 minutes ahead of your scheduled appointment.
  • Remove all jewelry and metal accessories before donning hospital-provided attire.

The Screening Procedure Explained

Upon commencement of the screening, you will be assisted by a staff member to lie in the correct position on the bed, typically on your side with arms positioned above your head. You will receive guidance on breathing techniques aimed at minimizing internal movement, thus ensuring optimal image clarity. Expect to hold your breath for brief intervals of 2-5 seconds. The screening bed will move gradually through the scanner, with the entire procedure taking approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.

For further information or to schedule an LDCT screening, please contact our imaging department. Early detection is pivotal in the successful treatment of lung cancer, and LDCT provides a significant advantage in this vital health battle.