Low-Dose CT Screening For Lung Cancer In Non-Smokers

by | Apr 14, 2021 | CT

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The world of diagnostic imaging has come far in innovation, thanks to the manufacturers and researchers dedicated to improving various medical processes.

In just a few short decades, modern systems—mainly MRI and CT scanning technology—have been reinvented in many different ways to administer a much higher level of care. As the diagnostic imaging industry continues to evolve by leaps and bounds, so improves the capabilities of modern medicine. However, there’s one critical development that many set their sights on: the applicability of low-dose CT screening for lung cancer in cases of patients that have never smoked.


What are low-dose CT (LDCT) screenings? 

Technically speaking, a low-dose CT screening is a diagnostic imaging procedure vital for identifying lung cancer before treatment processes are implemented. This procedure’s main objective is to create images of the lungs to identify any visual changes in lung tissue. Such changes may indicate the presence of lung cancer. 

Compared to conventional forms of the treatment, low-dose screenings are effective and accurate without the need for excessive radiation. Nowadays, in fact, they’ve become the gold standard for effectively screening the presence of lung cancer in patients that have smoked at some point in their life.


Why is the spotlight on non-smoking lung cancer patients?

Up until this point, LDCTs were mainly used as a diagnostic method for patients with a history of smoking and potential lung cancer—which means that the idea of it being beneficial for non-smokers was unheard of. 

The main reason this form of medical imaging wasn’t associated with determining lung cancer in patients without a history of smoking lies in the fact that it was never thought of as beneficial. Existing studies in the past demonstrated the effectiveness of LDCT only for patients who smoked, so many experts didn’t expect the same results for those who didn’t until a recent study debunked this notion.


The study that proved the applicability of LDCT screening for lung cancer in cases of patients that have never smoked

At the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2021 World Conference, researchers debunked the assumption thanks to a team of researchers who expounded on the method’s full capabilities.

Through their findings, data showed that LDCT screening could identify lung cancer in people with a high risk of the disease despite never having smoked cigarettes or tobacco. With these new findings, healthcare providers can achieve a better level of care, especially since 20 percent of all people who die from lung cancer have never smoked or used tobacco

Thanks to constant innovation, non-smokers who are at risk of contracting lung cancer no longer need to face the risk of finding out too late. With these findings, in fact, LCDT screening is now more capable of detecting lung cancer early while it is still responsive to treatment!



In the past, detecting lung cancer early through LCDT screening was only applicable to former smokers or current smokers—but modern developments have proven otherwise. With the advent of the recent studies published by researchers at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2021 World Conference, the future of effective treatment seems brighter than ever! 

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