Annual screening with helical computed tomography (CT) can help radiologists detect lung cancers at their earliest, most curable stage, but has not been shown to reduce mortality from the disease, according to a study published in the April issue of the journal Radiology.
"What were finding with CT screening are more early-stage cancers. That could be good news--finding cancers that wed otherwise find at a late stage," said the studys lead author, Stephen J. Swensen, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "However, a number of these are probably non-lethal or slow-growing cancers that the patient would likely have died with and not from. Other cancers were so aggressive that early detection with CT did not make a difference."
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States, killing more people than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). ACS estimates that in 2005 there will be approximately 172,570 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the United States and 163,510 people will die from the disease.
Doug Dusik | EurekAlert!
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