JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Long time smokers now have a low-cost and effective way to determine if they have any abnormalities in their lungs.

Doctors at UF & Shands say If you or someone you know answers “yes” to all of these questions, it’s important to get a lung cancer screening:
• Current or former smoker
• Ages 55 to 74

Smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (for example, one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years, etc.) The University of Florida College of Medicine–Jacksonville and Shands Jacksonville Medical Center are offering lung cancer screenings using a safe low-dose CT scan.

"The low dose CT scan essentially provides you with the same CT images, but with a lower radiation exposure. Since its a screening CT scan patients may need to have this done repeatedly so a lower dose of radiation is probably the right thing to do," Dr. Abubakr A. Bajwa says.

Bajwa says lung caner has been the leading cause of cancer death for men and women for years. He says for a long time there have been methods to look at an effective method of screening for lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute performed a randomized trial and the results showed that performing low dose CT scans on high risk patients results in a reduction of cancer related mortality by about 20 percent.

"You get the results immediately and depending on where the screening is performed you get to talk with a physician who can go over the results with you and tell you what the results are and what needs to be done in the future," Bajwa adds.

The American Lung Association endorses facilities which use “best practices” or a team of experts for lung cancer screening procedures. Dr. Bajway says UF practices multidisciplinary care from the departments of radiology, medicine and surgery to provide the best management for patients.

Call 904-244-8677 if you are interested in making an appointment for your consultation and screening.