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More Evidence Backs Routine CT Scans for Early Lung Cancer Detection

Yearly tests picked up malignant tumors sooner than X-rays, study found

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"If you have a nodule you can predict it's positive almost 20 percent, which is a lot better than what we had," she said.

The model is even better at ruling out nonmalignant nodules, which could save patients from unnecessary repeat testing, lowering their radiation exposure and risk from procedures.

"If you say something is benign using the model, the chances of it being malignant are extremely small, about 99.6 percent," Berg said. "This is an excellent first cut of determining whether a nodule on your scan is malignant or not."

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