This holiday season, give a gift to your loved one that really illustrates how much you care – low-dose CT lung screening for lung cancer. It is a gift of life!
It may seem unusual to give an imaging exam as a gift. Indeed, it may be a very hard gift to give. But it is a gift that resoundingly states “I love you and want you to be around for a long time.”
Your loved one – whether they are a parent, sibling, spouse or even a dear friend – has a habit that could, and most likely will, lead to serious illness and death. The facts are clear about that. But as stated in last month’s blog “Ignorance is Not Bliss,” deliberately avoiding the issue does not mean it will go away. The mental calculus many smokers use to justify continuing to smoke is very likely to be wrong. After all, a lack of symptoms such as coughing does not mean there isn’t lung cancer developing. Conversely, many smokers believe “it is too late anyway” and decline to check their lung status. This is also assuming facts that are not based on evidence.
CT lung screening is the only way to be sure. Catching lung cancer early improves survival rates drastically – above 90%. Not catching it early drops survival rates significantly.
How to Give the Gift of CT Lung Screening
- Create a way to open the conversation such as a hand-written holiday card or small token of affection.
- Start the dialog. Let them know you care.
- Get your loved one to their primary care physician, and have them ask for a referral for CT Lung Screening. Read the criteria for CT Lung Screening first.
- Once they have a doctor’s referral order, call RMI 810-732-1919 to make the appointment.
- If their insurance does not cover the exam, offer to help pay for it (RMI’s cash pay cost is $287) or have family and friends pitch in as a group gift.
- Offer to drive them or go with them to the appointment. Invest the time to be there for your loved one.
- Stay in touch as you wait for the results from the primary care doctor. No matter what the outcome, be there for your loved one and help them talk it through.
- Offer to help them find resources and tools to deal with the smoking or with follow up care. HINT: don’t make it an open-ended question such as “how can I help.” Instead say “I’d like to call several places for you and get some information. How about I call x, y, z.”
- Your loved one may be scared, irritated, or both. Remaining relentlessly positive will produce good outcomes! Be strong for them – that is part of your gift.
Smoking Cessation Resources
Hurley Cessation Program: http://www.hurleymc.com/wellness/programs/quit-smoking/
Genesee County Heath Department Quit Tobacco Flyer: https://gchd.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/9-17Quit_Smoking_Resources.pdf
From all of us at Regional Medical Imaging, happy holidays and good health to you and your loved ones.