Lung cancer (bronchial carcinoma) is one of the cancers with the worst chances of cure unless it is diagnosed and treated in time. In Europe, it is even responsible for more deaths than, for example, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Approximately 57,000 people are diagnosed with malignant lung tumors each year, most of whom are male.
Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms until later stages of cancer, which is why the cancer is often diagnosed too late. At this point, however, the chances of successful treatment are already slim. Therefore, it is even more important to detect and treat the cancer at an early stage.
Where can you have a lung cancer screening examination in Munich?
As soon as the lung cancer becomes noticeable through symptoms, a later stage of cancer has already been reached. At this point, the cancer can be treated less effectively and the prospect of complete cure is low. Therefore, it is important to detect cancer in the lungs early. Just ask our specialists!
Burgstraße 7 80331 München Tel: 089 2121960
Tel: 089 2121960
Nymphenburger Str. 163
Tel: 089 2121960
Säbener Straße 51
Tel: 089 2121960
Wolfratshauser Str. 107a
Tel: 089 2121960
When is a screening of the lungs useful?
Initially, lung cancer develops without symptoms. The person does not feel pain nor does discomfort reduce the quality of life. Only when the cancer spreads to the lungs and breathing becomes increasingly difficult or the cough persists, is the visit to the doctor made. Symptoms such as bloody sputum when coughing, chest pain, and recurrent respiratory illness may also indicate lung disease. Early detection and treatment of the cancer are therefore crucial because undifferentiated, disseminated tumors are more difficult to treat. In an early stage, however, localized cancer can usually be treated very well and the chances of being completely cured are greater.
Lung cancer screening still no recommendation
So far, there is no state-sponsored screening program for lung cancer in Germany. For this reason, people in Germany do not have the opportunity, as is the case with breast or colorectal cancer, for example, to regularly check for the presence of precancerous lesions during a screening examination. For this reason, individuals who wish to be screened for lung cancer must pay the cost themselves.
Reducing the risk by not smoking
In addition, each person can already do a lot to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. Smokers have the greatest risk of developing lung cancer. Smoking is responsible for about 90% of cancer cases. The risk also increases for passive smokers. In addition, increased exposure to particulate matter in cities can also damage the lungs.
A large-scale study of more than 50,000 participants was able to show that smokers over 55 and former smokers who smoked for at least 30 years would benefit from a screening program. According to the study, mortality was reduced by 20% among participants as a result of the screening program.
What is the procedure for a screening examination of the lungs?
There are different testing methods that can be used to determine how healthy the lungs are. This includes obtaining the patient’s medical history, blood tests, and other basic examinations of the patient by the primary care physician. A lung specialist (pulmonologist) may perform an X-ray or CT scan to check the lungs for changes and for tumors. If there is a well-founded suspicion, this person can also take a tissue sample.
Low-dose CT scan
The low-dose CT scan is currently considered the most effective method for the early detection of lung cancer. This involves taking cross-sectional images of the chest with the help of a computer tomography. These can also be combined into a 3D image, providing a detailed picture of the lungs. With the help of this examination, abnormalities in the lungs can be reliably detected.
Computed tomography uses X-rays, so the patient is exposed to some radiation. However, the radiation exposure in the low-dose CT scan is only about one-fifth of the radiation dose used, for example, in radiation therapy to treat cancer. Therefore, the radiation exposure for the patient is comparatively low. In addition, no contrast medium needs to be injected during the examination. For this reason, the examination is usually well tolerated by patients. The low-dose CT scan is completely painless and takes only a few minutes. As a rule, three examinations are made at intervals of one year each.
What do I need to know about lung screening?
Early lung cancer detection is not yet considered part of the national screening program in Germany. Therefore, statutory health insurance companies do not reimburse the costs for the examinations. For this reason, those with statutory insurance must bear all costs themselves. In some cases, private health insurance companies cover the costs for their insured patients. Please discuss possible solutions with your physician and contact your health insurance company to have your individual case reviewed.
Although the radiation dose in the low-dose CT scan is low, the patient is still exposed to radiation. In individual cases, this can lead to side effects, such as nausea or fatigue. However, these side effects should disappear after a short time. Please discuss with your physician whether alternative examination methods may be more appropriate for you.