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ACR statement on cancer study regarding patient anxiety from CT lung cancer screening
Date:7/25/2014

Anxiety regarding inconclusive cancer screening test results among some patients is real and is only natural. However, as evidenced by Gareen et al, published July 25 in Cancer, the incidence and effects of anxiety associated with false positive or other results of computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening exams are far less than claimed by some in the medical community.

"Unsubstantiated claims of systemic and harmful patient anxiety should now be put to rest and not continue to delay implementation of CT lung cancer screening programs or Medicare coverage for these tests. It is clear that the lifesaving benefit of these exams in high-risk patients far outweighs any downside," said Ella A. Kazerooni, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Lung Screening Committee.

Gareen et al found that patients who had an abnormal finding on a lung cancer screening test did not experience more anxiety or reduced quality of life than those who were screened and found to be cancer-free. Imaging experts (researchers and clinicians) and allied professionals continue to work to reduce the number of false-positive exams that patients experience and ensure that follow-up exams are as minimally invasive as possible. Physicians also continue to refine the reporting process to ensure that patients receive results as quickly as possible.

Primary National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) results showed that screening high-risk patients for lung cancer using low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans significantly reduced lung cancer deaths. The test is at least as cost-effective as other major cancer screening programs and even automobile seatbelts and airbags. In December 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended annual CT lung cancer screening for high-risk patients. Under the Affordable Care Act, private insurers are required to begin covering this service starting Jan. 1, 2015. However, Medicare is not requi
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Contact: Shawn Farley
PR@acr.org
703-648-8936
American College of Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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