I had a physical in July 2001 and asked for a chest xray since I'm a former long term smoker. The doctor informed me that in most cases by the time the tumor is discovered by xray it's late stage so I didn't have it. Instead, I went for a CT Lung Scan which cost me $250 at a non profit medical center. A CT Lung Scan is 6 times more powerful than a xray and can detect the tumor the size of a grain of rice. This test takes 5 minutes.
My dad's cancer was discovered by a CT scan. A previous chest x-ray showed nothing.. (however the tumor *was* there, but the doctor was just unable to see it). From what I have read, by the time a regular x-ray reveals anything, it's usually advanced.
I wish I knew more about the chest xray. It was described to me in my reading as being like taking a fruit cake and mashing it flat. You could then see the various pieces of candied fruit, but it wasn't exactly in the same place. The CT scan is more like 3-d and the 2 diamentinal xray is just not going to give the clearest picture.
In my own case, I had a bad flue like something, lost my voice, wheezing in the chest and this went on for 2 weeks. So I got sent for a chest xray.
The radiologist saw a shadow in my lungs.
In my reading I found someplace that 14% of lung cancers are discovered when a chest xray is taken for some other reason, and the patient had no lung cancer symptoms.
I don't have any symptoms.
I next went for the CT Scan. I am suppose to get the results Monday.
I'm tense about all this, of course. I was a smoker (about a pack a day) and wish I was smoking right this second, but thinking you might be dying is a powerful motivator for stopping.
my mom's sclc was discover by x-ray, and like the others said, by then it was in stage 4. and they gave her 11 to 17 months with chemo and radiation. less without. so if u have to chose i would go pay that extra money and have the ct scan, it may save your life!
my mom lasted 18 months, just like her to prove a point! it will be 5 months on the 29th of may! and i miss her every day!