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UT MD Anderson debuts lung cancer screening program
Date:6/29/2011

HOUSTON - Current and former heavy smokers can now be screened more effectively for lung cancer. Results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) revealed that detecting small lung cancers with computed tomography (CT) reduces lung cancer specific mortality by 20 percent.

Prior to the trial, lung cancer, often diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, had shown no benefit from screening because screening with standard chest X-rays did not detect cancers early enough. The trial, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is the driving force behind a new program offered at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

MD Anderson's Lung Cancer Screening Program teams experts in thoracic surgery, radiology, pulmonary and clinical cancer prevention who have developed a step-by-step program to better detect, treat and educate high-risk individuals against lung cancer.

"Our program is unique because we do more than a comprehensive lung CT screening exam," said Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of MD Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center. "We offer preventive options to help reduce their risk for cancer. Based on the findings from the screening lung CT, we guide people through the diagnostic evaluation and, if needed, treatment."

MD Anderson is offering screening to current or former smokers 50 years of age or older who have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes a day for at least 20 years. In addition to screening, the program offers access to other services through the Cancer Prevention Center, including risk assessment counseling for those found to not have lung cancer and low-cost tobacco cessation programs to help smokers quit.

MD Anderson's program is based on initial findings reported last fall from the NLST. The findings, scheduled to be published in the June 29 New England Journal of Medicine, revealed a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths for participants who received
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Contact: Katrina R. Burton
kburton@mdanderson.org
713-792-8034
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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