Lung Cancer Screening

Author: Peter B. Bach MD, MAPP 1
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  • 1 From Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Because lung cancer frequently presents in an advanced stage when it is incurable, there has been a sustained search for an early diagnosis approach that could detect lung cancer when curable, while having few secondary consequences. Decades of research have evaluated various approaches to lung screening, including routine chest radiograph, sputum cytology, and, most recently, computed tomography (CT) scanning. No study has suggested that any of these approaches will identify life-threatening lung cancers at an earlier disease stage and allow alteration of their natural history. Therefore, no recommending body or professional society recommends using any of these approaches to screen for lung cancer. This general recommendation could change if randomized trials examining CT screening suggest that its benefits outweigh its harms.

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Correspondence: Peter B. Bach, MD, MAPP, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 307 East 63rd Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10021. E-mail: bachp@mskcc.org
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