RALEIGH,N .C. (WTVD) -- November is World Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and a new noninvasive x-ray screening is helping Triangle doctors detect early stage lung cancer.
The new technology uses a low-dose CT scan. It takes multiple pictures as you lie on a table that slides in and out of the machine.
A computer then combines the images into a detailed picture of your lungs.
"The resolution is incredible," explained Dr. Greg Bortoff, a Radiologist with Raleigh Radiology. "The speed of imaging has progressed tremendously and so these scans take about 5-10 seconds."
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in America according to the American Lung Association.
But experts say, if it's caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving five years or more improves to 60 percent.
"Early stage lung cancer is is treatable," explained Bortoff. "The vast majority of stage one-early stage one lung cancers are curable. And, so the idea is the earlier you can catch a cancer, in this case, lung cancer the greater the likelihood that you can cure the patient."
Dozens of health facilities in the Triangle have this new scan technology including Wakemed and Raleigh Radiology.
In many cases, Medicare and many private health insurance plans cover the low dose CT screening for lung cancer, including previous smokers over 50 who quit within the last 15 years.
For a quiz to see if you qualify for a scan click here.
To find a facility near you click here.