Author(s): Reddy C, Chilla D, Boltax J
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Abstract Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. A lack of clinical symptoms in early-stage disease frequently leads to diagnosis at a late stage, and a 15\% 5-year survival rate in all patients so diagnosed. This has led to significant interest in effective screening methods to detect early-stage cancers, particularly for high-risk groups, such as current or former smokers. Early clinical trials focused on chest radiograph with or without sputum cytology and failed to show an improvement in mortality with screening. A meta-analysis also failed to show a difference in all-cause mortality. Subsequent protocols compared low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan with chest radiograph and documented increased detection of early-stage disease; however, they were not designed to prove a reduction in mortality. The most recent trials have focused on LDCT scans, including the National Lung Screening Trial. Data released from the National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in lung cancer deaths in patients screened with LDCT scans. When data from the study, including cost-effectiveness, are completely analyzed, they may lead to revision of current lung cancer screening recommendations to include LDCT scans in specific populations at high risk of developing lung cancer.
This article was published in Hosp Pract (1995)
and referenced in Biology and Medicine