Navigation Links
Cancer Society Suggests CT Lung Screening for Heavy Smokers

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations from the American Cancer Society say that older current or former heavy smokers may want to consider low-dose CT scans to help screen for lung cancer.

Specifically, that includes those aged 55 to 74 with a 30 pack-year smoking history who still smoke or who had quit within the past 15 years. Pack-years are a calculation made by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked a day by the number of years of smoking.

"Even with screening, lung cancer would remain the most lethal cancer," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer at the American Lung Association. He noted the cancer society guidelines are similar to the ones from the lung association.

The new recommendation follows on the results of a major U.S. National Cancer Institute study, published in 2010 in Radiology, that found that annual CT screening for lung cancer for older current or former smokers cut their death rate by 20 percent.

Edelman stressed that the study does nothing to change the fact that smoking prevention and cessation remain the most important public health challenge there is.

"Screening is not a way to make smoking safe from cancer deaths, and certainly does nothing to prevent smoking-related deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease," he added.

The cancer society recommendations also emphasize smoking cessation counseling as a high priority and stress that CT screening is not an alternative to quitting smoking.

CT screening should only be done after a discussion between patients and their doctors so people fully understand the benefits, limitations and risks of screening. In addition, screening should only be done by someone experienced in low-dose CT lung cancer screening, the cancer society stressed.

These new guidelines were published in the Jan. 11 online edition of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Results from the 2010 trial indicated that deaths from lung cancer in specific high-risk groups could be reduced by annual CT screening. "These findings indicate that the adoption of lung cancer screening could save many lives," the cancer society concluded.

As with any guidelines, however, recommendations may change over time as more people are screened and new data are analyzed.

Despite the lifesaving benefits of screening, there are still some harms and limitations. Among these are missed cancers, anxiety caused by abnormal results, the need for additional tests and biopsies, investigation of other findings not related to lung cancer and exposure to radiation from repeated testing, the cancer society noted.

The cancer society hopes these guidelines will help inform people at high risk for lung cancer about finding lung cancer early, when it has the best chance of being treated.

Many questions remain, Edelman noted.

"The most prominent is which groups who have lower risks of lung cancer than the group studied will benefit from screening. That is, at what point, in terms of risk factors, will the risks of radiation and biopsy of benign tumors outweigh the risk of cancer," he said.

There are not only important medical questions, but also economic ones since issues of increased costs and insurance coverage are yet to be addressed, Edelman said.

Another expert, Dr. Michael Unger, a doctor with Allied Healthcare Associates in Northbrook, Ill., said that "it has been proven repeatedly that mere chest X-ray screening is insufficient to provide any benefit to survival."

That said, there have been several studies showing a survival benefit by screening high-risk individuals with low dose CT scans, he added.

"Whether or not such screening recommendations are accepted by Medicare and private insurance companies will eventually determine how broadly these recommendations are implemented," Unger said. "I believe only a small number would pay for such a scan out of their own pocket."

More information

For more on lung cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Norman Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer, American Lung Association; Michael Unger, M.D., Allied Healthcare Associates, Northbrook, Ill.; Jan. 11, 2013, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. American Cancer Society recommends informed decision making in lung cancer screening
2. UGA discovery promises to improve drugs used to fight cancer, other diseases
3. Project to capture and interrogate single cancer cells wins innovator award
4. US Drug Watchdog Now Urges Families Of Diabetics Diagnosed with Bladder Cancer To Call The Johnson Law Group If They Used the Diabetes Drug Called Actos
5. Inclusion of CTC as HEDIS screening modality could increase colorectal cancer screening compliance
6. Surgical technique spots cancer invasion with fluorescence
7. Cancer scientists determine mechanism of 1 of the most powerful tumor-suppressor proteins, Chd5
8. Helping patients navigate new cancer drugs
9. Pap Test Could Spot Some Ovarian Cancers, Study Finds
10. High fiber diet prevents prostate cancer progression
11. Microscopic blood in urine unreliable indicator of urinary tract cancer
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cancer Society Suggests CT Lung Screening for Heavy Smokers 
(Date:11/25/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... According ... Vinci surgical robot is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough for ... da Vinci method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly reduce ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm ... appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto ... Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw ... and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. ... For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In ... nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care for pulmonary hypertension ... Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout 2016 as part ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bcureful—a non-profit organization devoted ... as raising public awareness of the disorder while helping to bring expert medical ... $35,000 to bolster progress at the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center at Ann & ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... Application (BLA) with the United States ... 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). ... application submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s first ... Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, ... against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability ... hip implant device, awarded $11 million in favor ... trial and three days of deliberations, the jury ... defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) today announced that it ... State Attorney General,s Office to end the litigation ... with the Attorney General over the decision of Forest Laboratories, ... the now generic version of memantine immediate release tablets.  Under ... its counterclaims against New York , and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: