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American Cancer Society recommends informed decision making in lung cancer screening
Date:1/11/2013

ew guidelines, the authors say: "Findings from the National Cancer Institute's National Lung Screening Trial established that lung cancer mortality in specific high-risk groups can be reduced by annual screening with low-dose computed tomography. These findings indicate that the adoption of lung cancer screening could save many lives."

They conclude: "At this time, there is sufficient evidence to support screening provided that the patient has undergone a thorough discussion of the benefits, limitations, and risks, and can be screened in a setting with experience in lung cancer screening."

But they caution that more work is needed to fill in existing knowledge gaps related to broadening eligibility for lung cancer screening, to further define early lung cancer detection protocols, and to put in place an infrastructure to support population-based lung cancer screening. "As with other guidelines for cancer screening, we can expect that this initial guideline will be revised as new data become available," write the authors.

As with other cancer screening recommendations, the new lung cancer screening guidance embraces the process of informed and shared decision-making; a thoughtful discussion with a clinician related to the potential benefits, limitations, and harms associated with screening. This discussion should occur before any decision is made to initiate lung cancer screening.

Among the limitations and harms posed by screening are missed cancers, anxiety associated with abnormal results, the need for additional imaging tests and biopsies, investigation of incidental findings not related to the lungs, and exposure to radiation from repeated tests.

The recommendations emphasize that smoking cessation counseling remains a high priority for clinical attention in discussions with current smokers, and that screening should not be viewed as an alternative to smoking cessation.

The hope is that the guideline will lea
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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