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Lung Cancer Alliance Commends NCCN on Screening Guidelines
Date:3/14/2008

WASHINGTON, March 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) called the new screening guidelines announced by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) "a positive step in the right direction that will encourage those at high risk for lung cancer to fully investigate their option of getting a CT scan."

LCA President Laurie Fenton Ambrose said that lung cancer will continue to kill more people each year than all the other major cancers combined until more at risk people realize the urgency of being diagnosed early.

Currently only 16% of lung cancer patients are being diagnosed at an early and curable stage.

To date only CT scanners can detect lung cancers early - a fact that no one disputes - but the statistical debate goes on.

Fenton Ambrose pointed out that similar statistical debates held up mammograms for years until Congress stepped in. Debates still rage over mammograms for women under the age of 50 and PSA testing for prostate cancer in men.

The debate carried into the NCCN meeting earlier this month and the panel reviewing lung cancer was unable to reach a consensus on routine CT scans. However, NCCN issued a compromise statement recommending that people at high risk for lung cancer should participate in a clinical trial on CT screening or go to a center with expertise in all areas of lung cancer diagnosis and treatment to discuss the potential risks and benefits of a screening CT.

"This is exactly what we have been saying for the past two years," said Fenton-Ambrose, "and we are pleased that NCCN takes this position as well."

The only national CT trial still accepting participants is the International Lung Cancer Early Action Program (I-ELCAP).

That program, which was launched in 1992, has scanned over 30,000 people at high risk for lung cancer in 26 states and 8 foreign countries. The results of its first 13 years were published in the New England Journal of
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SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance
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