MKT 438

Instructor: Kelly Wood

July 19, 2000


Lung cancer affects more than 170,000 men and women each year. Currently, there isnít a practical or definitive screening method for detecting this disease. Historically, chest x-rays were used to detect cancer when patients presented symptoms. Though chest x-rays can pick up cancerous lesions, it has not been recommended as a routine annual screening tool because it often detects the disease too late when cure is difficult.

By the time lung cancer is large enough to be visible on chest x-rays, it is often advanced and may have already metastasized to other parts of the body. For this reason, it was very important to find new methods of early detection and diagnosis. The answer was the Spiral CT (Computed Tomography, "Cat Scan") Lung Screening now being offered at Desert Radiologists.


Desert Radiologists is Nevadaís oldest and most sophisticated outpatient radiology center. All diagnostic modalities are performed under one roof. In each of our facilities, patients are able to have imaging studies that are traditionally performed in hospitals only.

Desert Radiologists is committed to state-of-the-art comprehensive diagnostic care for the people of Nevada. We supply our patients with prompt quality health care while keeping in mind their rights to compassion, dignity, and personal regard. Many believe that the success of Desert Radiologists is due in part to the very strategic and innovative marketing/public relations techniques utilized to convey the message of our incredible abilities in providing cost-efficient, high-quality radiology. We are on the cutting edge of new technology that enables Desert Radiologists to provide the best radiology care to our patients.


Established in 1966 by Drs. Robert Taylor, Harris Knudson and James Lum, Desert Radiologists diagnostic radiology practice has grown with the Las Vegas community to become the areas chief resource for the highest quality, comprehensive medical care in the field of radiology.

The firmís staff of over 25 Radiologists and 185 technical and support personnel promotes a reassuring environment that helps allay patientsí concerns and results in the best possible experience for those entering an unfamiliar world of CT scans, MR imaging, interventional radiology, and nuclear medicine.

Desert Radiologists is a private corporation owned by physicians. Its success in providing radiology services to Southern Nevada for more than 30 years has given the organization a positive image within the community. Desert Radiologists is always searching for new procedures and ways to enhance the practice.


Desert Radiologists gathered research data from a firm that provided the Spiral CT lung screening to their patients and extensive data from the Internet to study the effectiveness of this new procedure. With positive results, the physicians made a commitment to offer this new screening procedure that can detect lung cancer at an early stage to the Las Vegas community. This newly developed screening test will improve the odds of defeating lung cancer. The Spiral CT lung screening is based on United States and Japanese studies that indicate CT screening is able to diagnose tumors early enough to greatly improve survival rates.

An estimated 157,000 people will die this year of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death of both men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Virtually all the "cures" in treating lung cancer occur in those patients where the cancer is detected early before there is any distant spread or metastasis beyond the "local" tumor or "local" lymph nodes. Lung cancer tumors found by a chest x-ray are typically large when patients present with symptoms. In contrast, when detected on a Spiral CT, the tumor may be no bigger than a grain of rice.

A study from Early Lung Cancer Action Program (ELCAP) included 1,000 volunteers with an average age of 67 years. The volunteers historically smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes a day for ten years. These volunteers never showed signs of cancer or exhibited symptoms of cancer. The participants were given both traditional chest x-rays and CT scans. The chest x-rays detected tumors in 68 of the 1,000 participants while CT scans detected tumors in 233 participants--more than three times as many as x-rays had diagnosed.

Lung cancer is deadly. Until recently, there has not been a successful process to detect the tumors early