Hello! I hope that you all are doing well.
I'm a mid 40s non smoker with family history of lung cancer: Mom (smoker), Dad (smoker) , Maternal Grandmother (nonsmoker, lived with smoker), Maternal Great Aunt (non smoker, lived with smoker). After my parents passed away, one year apart, I asked my family doctor to order a chest CT scan for peace of mind with this family history. My thought is...3 of these 4 family members had no pulmonary symptoms when they were diagnosed with stage 4. Clearly, lung cancer is much more treatable and survivable when caught early. I'm afraid to wait to see if I ever have symptoms because in my family and for many, that's too late.
So...The dr agreed to scan and after a few years of incidental lung findings (a node, particulate) and yearly CT follow up scans, my lungs are now clear. So according to the pulmonary doc there is no need for follow up. However, I would like to get my lungs checked periodically over time in the hopes of early detection and therefore survival rate, if (and I know it's a much smaller chance and different scenario since I'm a non smoker) if I were to develop lung cancer. I believe that my family doctor will cooperate and order the tests, but he has no idea about how often I should check. The pulmonary doctor just won't give me a timeframe and say it's personal choice...it's not the standard of care and is "irresponsible" for him to order regular radiation with no symptoms. I understand that position. But I would like to make that personal choice to check things out periodically.
What would you do? Every 2 years? 5? I don't think there is really science to look at for timing. I know I can't receive medical advice here so just looking for "what would you do" from people who may know how Lung Cancer develops when it is early. I only know that for my family, waiting until symptoms showed was way too late. Thank you.