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Screening could avert 12,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States
Date:2/24/2013

Screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in all screening-eligible current and former smokers has the potential to avert approximately 12,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. That is the conclusion of a new analysis published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. By providing a national estimate of potentially avertable lung cancer deaths, the study will help policy makers better understand the possible benefits of LDCT lung cancer screening.

Despite substantial decreases in smoking prevalence, there are still 43 million Americans who are current smokers. If these smokers continue to smoke, half of them will die of smoking-related diseases including lung cancer; however, detecting lung cancer at an early stage can help prevent deaths.

The National Lung Screening Trial conducted from 2002 through 2009 found that, compared with chest x-ray, LDCT screening reduces lung cancer deaths by about 20 percent among current and former (quit within 15 years) smokers aged 55 to 74 years who have smoked at least 30 pack-years. (This equates to one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years).

Based on information from this trial combined with the US population size and other data, Jiemin Ma, PhD, of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and his colleagues concluded that in 2010, approximately 8.6 million Americans were eligible for LDCT screening for lung cancer according to the criteria used in the trial. When they combined this finding with information on lung cancer death rates, they estimated that if all screening-eligible Americans were to receive LDCT screening, approximately 12,000 lung cancer deaths would be delayed or prevented each year in the United States.

"Our findings provide a better understanding of the national-level impact of LDCT screening, which has the potential to save thousands of lives per year," said Dr
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Contact: Amy Molnar
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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