Progress against lung cancer


lung cancerThe New England Journal of Medicine reported recently that early detection of lung tumors by using advanced CT imaging yields an estimated 10-year survival rate of more than 90 percent, and smokers and others at high risk should be routinely screened.

Researchers said the study of more than 30,000 patients in seven countries indicates that the scans, which allow physicians to detect much smaller objects than can be seen on a conventional chest X-ray, are as cost-effective and beneficial as mammography for breast cancer.

Still, some cancer experts said the study does not prove that screening reduces deaths from lung cancer and that it is too soon to recommend widespread use. While there may be some validity to that argument and further study is needed, it would seem to make sense for smokers and former smokers to have scans for early lung cancer detection.

Those scans are very important, especially when it is estimated that 162,460 people will die of lung cancer this year.



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