You can bet that a quick check on your car’s engine or tires before a trip will save you from a lot of potential car problems and what would have been outrageous expenses or life-endangering. But this post is not about cars; it’s about YOU and your health. Right on topic; are heart and lung scans worth it? Do you ever think, “Should I have a heart and lung scan?” Do you open your browser and search “heart and lung scan near me?”
If you’ve ever done a heart or lung scan, you are on the right track to having a very healthy and active lifestyle before and well into your golden years. Our bodies don’t have check engine lights, and sometimes, the early signs of lung and heart diseases are mistaken for minor health issues and treated as one.
Having a heart and lung scan can literally save your life today. So, how does it keep you a thousand steps away from chronic lung and heart diseases? We’ll get to that.
First things first.
What is a Heart and Lung Scan?
At Craft Body Scan, heart and lung scans are preventive scans using a low dose computed tomography (CT) scanner to detect the most subtle signs of developing cancerous masses and other heart and lung disease precursors months or years before they become life-threatening.
When you ask yourself, “Should I have a heart and lung scan?” It is important to note that a scan is not the same as a diagnosis; it is a measure for detecting suspicious masses in the body, especially cancer masses. Your scan results—the images and test scores a scan produces—help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.
For more clarity, let’s briefly look at what each scan entails.
What is a Lung Scan?
A lung scan is a nuclear imaging test in which a CBS CT technologist uses a CDC-recommended low dose CT scan (LCDT) that emits a low amount of radiation to create detailed images of your lungs. These images show the formation of small masses (called emboli) or blood clots in the lungs, if any.
The scan images may help in the early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer, emphysema, aneurysm of the aorta, and other lung ailments.
What is a Heart Scan?
At CBS, a heart scan – also known as coronary calcium scan or cardiac scoring – is a CT analysis of the heart involving the use of computerized tomography to detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries of your heart.
A heart scan can help detect and diagnose heart valve disease, heart disease, coronary artery blockage, and tumors early.
How Does a CT Heart Scan Work?
A heart scan is a non-invasive procedure for scanning the heart to provide images that can help your doctor measure the amount of calcified plaque in your arteries and make an accurate diagnosis.
Unlike cholesterol screening for heart disease, a heart scan provides more precise insight into your risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease. It exposes the signs of early-stage heart disease and provides indicators that determine its severity.
Our board-certified team of radiologists at CBS would provide you with a calcium scoring report after your scan. This report would show your calcium scores; the scores indicate the severity of calcified plaques in your arteries—the higher the score, the higher the risk of heart disease.
How Long Does a CT Scan of the Lungs Take?
The actual CT scan of your lungs using low dose computed tomography takes approximately less than ten minutes. However, you may spend up to 30 minutes at our facility doing minor consultations and preparing for the scan.
Are Heart and Lung Scans Worth it?
Yes, they are absolutely worth it.
To be in control of your health, you have to take necessary measures that ascertain you are two steps ahead of developing some life-threatening conditions. Often, these measures mean opting for healthy lifestyle choices, working out, and eating right.
While these steps could help you feel good and healthy about yourself, they are not guarantees that you won’t fall prey to one disease or the other. And that is why the medical community recommends regular health screening for both men and women, even if you feel fine.
We are all too familiar with the age-old saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” Preventative lung and heart scans save millions of lives across the world annually. The early detection and intervention significantly increase survival chances while also drastically limiting the occurrence of comorbid conditions that may manifest down the line.
So, are heart and lung scans worth it? Yes, they are worth it. Should I have a heart and lung scan? Yes, you should.
Still, let’s take a broader look at the benefits to help you determine if they are worth it.
Pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases are often a result of a gradual process; most times, full development takes over five years. For instance, squamous cell carcinoma — a type of lung cancer — takes about eight years to develop to the point where a patient may notice its symptoms and seek medical help.
With early detection comes early intervention. Now, the thing with early intervention is that it boosts your survival rate significantly.
The United States Preventive Task Force (USPSTF) indicates that low-dose CT scans (used in CBS heart and lung scans) can reduce lung cancer death rate by up to 20%.
Prevention and Survival
Since the widespread awareness programs targeted at encouraging people to do heart and lung scans, the U.S has recorded a 14% improvement in lung cancer survival over the past five years.
Lung and heart diseases can be critically life-threatening and are likely to occur in any person due to any given number of factors. But like many other people in recent years, you have better chances of preventing or surviving them when you undergo a low-dose CT scan and get an early diagnosis from your doctor.
Even with health insurance, treating most heart and lung conditions at an advanced stage could cost you an arm and a leg, no doubt.
However, the early detection of these conditions allows for easier, often less demanding treatment or management procedures. Consequently, early intervention and treatments are significantly less expensive than late treatment of advanced stages of heart and lung conditions.
Improved Quality of Life
It is easy for Americans to fall prey to risk factors, including smoking, second-hand smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and allergens that could lead to various heart and lung diseases.
Apart from the satisfaction of curtailing lung and heart conditions before they become advanced, having a heart and lung scan can help you rethink and restructure your lifestyle to be healthier and more fulfilling.
So, what do you think? Are heart and lung scans worth it?
Should I Have a Heart and Lung Scan?
Stepping back to the car analogy from earlier, do you think there would be a better outcome if the car’s engine stopped working in the middle of a highway? Well, the odds are clearly in favor of having your car checked before your trip.
From patients’ experiences and feedback, it is evident that the importance of early detection and intervention cannot be overemphasized. And the satisfying relief of knowing that you are not at (immediate) risk of a heart or lung condition cannot be underestimated, either. You can check out what some of our patients have to say about getting preventative lung and heart scans here.
The benefits highlighted above are good reasons to have a heart and lung scan. However, it helps to know what the CDC says about these scans.
What the CDC Says About Lung and Heart Scans
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S, and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women. However, these death rates are dropping as people are getting screened, diagnosed, and getting recently improved treatments on time.
Alongside heart checks being one of the most globally recommended checkups every adult should do, CDC further recommends LCDT lung cancer screening for adults. This recommendation specifically applies to adults who have no symptoms but are at high risk of developing the condition due to their age and smoking history.
But before you go checking for heart and lung scan near me, you should note that annual lung screening using LCDT is not for you, if you:
- Are 81 and above,
- Have not smoked in the past 15 years or more,
- Have health issues that make you unable to have surgery if lung cancer is found.
On the other hand, heart scans are most recommended for people with:
- A family history of heart disease,
- Congenital heart disease,
- A heart birth defect or any heart issues,
- Diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
Additionally, smokers and people between the ages of 40 and 70 have an increased risk of heart disease and are encouraged to get a scan even if they have no symptoms.
The Best Heart and Lung Scan Near Me
Lung and heart scans are often prone to false positives in some establishments. Consequently, some healthy patients are misdiagnosed and sometimes subjected to treatments and further scans that end up being harmful to them.
At Craft Body Scan, we use the highly recommended low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) to run the most efficient and accurate heart and lung scans, with high success rates. Our technicians and radiologists are the best you can find across the country.
And what’s more? To help your doctor make a well-informed diagnosis, our radiologists provide a comprehensive report, including the attending radiologist’s review of the resulting scan images!
If you are in the Oklahoma or North Carolina area making multiple web searches for the best heart and lung scan near me, you can find us at our heart and lung scan locations in Tulsa and Raleigh. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 918.879.6161 to make more inquiries and know if an LDCT scan is right for you.
It is important to note that CBS only conducts scans to detect abnormalities that may lead to life-threatening lung cancer or heart disease – we do not scan for cancer. Your doctor would use the scan results and radiologist’s notes to make a proper diagnosis and determine your condition.