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What are considerations about screening for lung cancer?

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Because sputum tests and chest X-rays have not proved particularly effective in detecting small tumors characteristic of early lung cancer, doctors don't recommend annual chest X-rays for lung cancer screening. However, groups such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute say CT screening should be offered to those at high risk of lung cancer. That includes smokers and former smokers ages 55 to 74 who have smoked for 30 pack-years or more and either continue to smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. (A pack-year is the number of cigarette packs smoked each day multiplied by the number of years a person has smoked.) Their guidelines are based on research that showed CT screening decreases the chance of death overall but increases the chance of having a false alarm that requires more testing.

SOURCES: 

National Cancer Institute. 

National Institutes of Health. 

WebMD Medical Reference from the American College of Physicians: “Section 12 VIII Lung Cancer.”

News release, FDA.

American Cancer Society.

American Lung Association. 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 05, 2019

SOURCES: 

National Cancer Institute. 

National Institutes of Health. 

WebMD Medical Reference from the American College of Physicians: “Section 12 VIII Lung Cancer.”

News release, FDA.

American Cancer Society.

American Lung Association. 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 05, 2019

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When do you need surgery for lung cancer?

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