New Lung Cancer Guidelines Issued

Guidelines Advise Against Some Supplements for Lung Cancer Prevention

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on September 10, 2007
From the WebMD Archives

Sept. 10, 2007 -- Lung cancer experts today issued new guidelines on screening, preventing, and coping with lung cancer.

The new lung cancer guidelines, issued by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), update the ACCP's 2003 lung cancer guidelines.

Here's a quick look at the guidelines:

Lung cancer screening: The ACCP advises against low-dose CT scanning or chest X-rays to screen for lung cancer.

Gene Colice, MD, FCCP, vice chairman of the ACCP lung cancer guidelines committee and director of pulmonary, critical care, and respiratory services at the Washington Hospital Center, explains.

"Nodules are commonly found during screening; however, to determine whether they are cancerous requires additional testing, which is fairly invasive and extensive. This may cause the patient needless risk, both physically and psychologically," Colice says in an ACCP news release.

Lung cancer prevention: People at risk for lung cancer aren't advised to take beta-carotene supplements, vitamin E supplements, retinoids (vitamin A), N-acetylcysteine, selenium, or aspirin for lung cancer prevention.

Complementary therapies: For the first time, the ACCP has issued guidelines on the use of complementary therapies for lung cancer patients.

The guidelines support the use of massage for lung cancer patients experiencing anxiety, mood disturbances, or chronic pain.

The guidelines also recommend acupuncture for lung cancer patients experiencing nausea, vomiting, pain, or fatigue from their lung cancer treatment, and for those who haven't been able to quit smoking through other methods.

Lung cancer patients should tell their doctors about any complementary therapies they use and avoid treatments that claim to replace conventional medical care, according to the ACCP.

The guidelines, which also include technical details for doctors treating lung cancer, appear in a special edition of the journal Chest.


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SOURCES: Alberts, W. Chest, September 2007; vol 132 Supplement on the American College of Chest Physicians' Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer: pp 1S-19S. News release, American College of Chest Physicians.

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