KINGMAN – A trip to the hospital isn’t high on anyone’s want-to-do list. That changes quickly when doctors detect something you didn’t go in to see them for in the first place. Patients have gone to the hospital thinking they have a virus, but learned they actually have cancer.
In Mohave County, 29 percent of adults are cigarette smokers, which makes it the second-highest rate in Arizona, right behind La Paz County with 33 percent.
“Lung cancer is the third common but the most deadly with 160,000 deaths in 2013,” Wade Alleman, an imaging specialist at Kingman Regional Medical Center said.
Not only is the county high in adult smokers, but the occurrence of lung cancer is above the national average of 58 per 100,000 people, according to 2015 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mohave County has a rate of 77.8 per 100,000, while Arizona is at 47 per 100,000.
The radiology department at KRMC is composed of imaging specialists who are there to perform CT scans, MRI’s, X-Rays, and other imaging services to detect abnormal developments in the body. Radiologists “feel lucky” when they preform CAT scans for something different and end up finding a lung tumor.
Radiologists also perform biopsies to extract tissue from abnormalities growing in the body to examine for further testing.
“We get right down to an eighth of an inch if we need to. It’s very powerful technology that allows us to be very accurate,” Kale Bodily, an imaging specialist at KRMC said.
Most of the time it takes more than one screening process to fully see what is going on the patient’s body. More than one test can see the different layers and angles of the area being tested to see if there are abnormalities being formed.
It is recommended to those who are more prone to lung cancer should be screened annually.