A CT scan of one’s lungs can motivate smokers to finally kick their cancer causing habit.

Perhaps this is because what you can finally see (your lungs) will kick you into high gear to throw out the Camels for good.

There are smokers who believe their lungs are just fine because they can’t see them.

It’s that age-old mindset of “What I can’t see can’t hurt me.”

Hidden from Sight Doesn’t Mean Healthy

A study (led by Professor John Field) of quitting smoking reveals a 15 percent success rate when smokers are given CT scans of their lungs.

The study was done by Cardiff University and the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Translational Medicine, Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London.

There were 4,055 participating smokers 50 to 75.

• One group had a single low dose CT scan to see if there was lung cancer.

• The other group did not undergo CT scans.

Results on Smoking Cessation

• Of the participants who had the CT scan, 10 percent quit smoking after two weeks.

• And after two years, the percentage of quitters was 15 percent.

• The control group had only a five percent cessation rate.

Might an image of healthy lungs encourage someone to continue smoking?

“I used to recommend lung imaging to motivate patients,” says Richard Honaker, MD, Chief Medical Advisor at Your Doctors Online, with 30+ years’ experience as a primary care physician.

“CT scans have a lot of radiation and are expensive compared to a chest X-ray. Though in comparison, a chest X-ray shows much less detail of early damage.

“There have been studies on both sides of the issue to gauge if this motivates people or not. I feel it does.

“The best thing is to get an inexpensive chest X-ray and office spirometry to assess the FVC and FeV1 numbers.

“These can be motivating and can be done on a serial fashion so patients can see progress or regression.

“If your doctor does not have that service, he/she can surely do a peak flow test, and that number can be used to access the situation.”

Seeing that your lungs look normal on a CT scan or X-ray has the potential to encourage quitting.

After all, you’re likely to think, “Hey, my lungs are normal — and I want to KEEP them that way!”

Viewing someone else’s lungs brings up that premise of, “That can’t happen to me.”

Viewing one’s OWN lungs brings to mind, “Hmm, something could happen to me. I want my lungs to stay healthy.”

Dr. Honaker has been recognized by D Magazine as one of the Best Doctors in Dallas several times and a Texas Super Doctor by Texas Weekly. He’s also a recipient of the Physician Recognition Award from the American Medical Association multiple times. Your Doctors Online
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 



Top image: Shutterstock/Slava Dumchev
Source: sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726102909.htm