New screening process could help detect lung cancer

Jul 13, 2011

CT scan can help detect lung cancer

All too often lung cancer is not discovered until it has already started spreading. However, a new screening process may be able to detect the disease earlier on, possibly reducing the number of life insurance claims.

Low-dose spiral CT scans have shown to be a promising research tool, according to Consumer Reports. The scans can produce detailed pictures of cross-sections of a patient's lungs, which may be able to detect more early-stage lung cancers than chest X-rays.

In a new study, researchers for the National Lung Screening Trial found that a significantly higher number of lung cancers were discovered through CT scans than chest X-rays, the New England Journal of Medicine reports. These cases were also more likely to be at an early stage. Additionally, people in the CT group were 20 percent less likely to have died from lung cancer by the end of the study.

"I believe that this is not only the best study done on lung cancer mortality, but one of the best studies on cancer screening ever done," Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, told CNN.  

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