Prevention & Screening

Detecting Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is detected primarily in three ways:

  1. Lung cancer is suspected because of patient symptoms.
  2. Lung cancer screening of people at high-risk for developing the disease.
  3. X-rays and scans for other diseases, such as heart disease, emphysema or an unrelated cancer reveal the presence of a lung growth.

Lung Cancer Screening

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing patients and physicians is diagnosing lung cancer early, before it spreads to the lymph nodes and/or other organs in the body. If lung cancer can be found early, it is more likely that patients can be treated with the goal of a cure. However, despite more patients being diagnosed with lung cancer each year than any other cancer, national policy for lung-cancer screening and research on patients at risk for developing lung cancer remains inadequate.

Swedish Cancer Institute is at the forefront of lung-cancer screening research, participating in studies that evaluate the most effective methods for early detection. Currently, Swedish is one of 38 international sites and the only site in the Northwest taking part in the Early Lung Cancer Action Project (ELCAP), a study evaluating the use of spiral computerized tomography (CT) scans to screen and detect lung abnormalities early, hopefully before the cancer spreads to other organs and reduces the chance for a cure.

Learn more about the Swedish Lung Cancer Screening Program, including qualifications to participate.

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