Despite the long-standing debate and controversy on the topic, the American Cancer Society just issued a new guideline which supports use of annual low-dose CT scans to screen for lung cancer in older smokers. The guideline utilizes specific criteria for the cancer screening by CT scan, including screening patients who are between 55 and 74 years old, who have at least a 30 pack year smoking history.
The guideline relies heavily upon the evidence generated by the National Lung Screening Trial. The study found an impressive reduction in lung cancer death of 20% in high risk patients who underwent low-dose CT scan on an annual basis rather than plain chest x-ray screening.
Many studies have been done on the utility of CT scanning for lung cancer, and a lot of controversy still exists among the experts. However, with the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial and other important medical research, cancer experts now seem to concur that there is sufficient information available to support screening for lung cancer by CT scanning. Given the clout of the American Cancer Society’s endorsement, more CT scanning may be undertaken in the future to address this serious health issue.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death in this country and in the world, among men and women. In this country, lung cancer is responsible for more deaths than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Virginia Buchanan is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio. She has served on the Board of Directions of the Florida Bar Foundation and has been Treasurer of ABOTA, Chairperson of the Civil Process Server Grievance Committee and has been a member of the Chief Judge’s Council on Children. She currently is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Florida Justice Association.