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CT may help trim lung-cancer deaths among smokers

New federally funded research suggests that annual CT scans can help reduce the risk of lung cancer deaths 20 percent among current and former heavy smokers. The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial studied 53,000 current and former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74 and compared the effects of two lung-cancer screening procedures – low-dose CT scans and standard chest X-rays.

About 196,000 Americans get lung cancer every year, and the disease kills more than 159,000. Some experts say the results show that people at risk for smoking-related lung cancer should seek regular testing. Others say it’s too early to tell.

LINKS

Nov. 4, 2010, Cancer.gov, “Lung cancer trial results show mortality benefit with low-dose CT.”

Nov. 4, 2010, New York Times, “CT Scans Cut Lung-Cancer Deaths, Study Finds.”

Nov. 4, 2010, Washington Post, “Study: CT scans reduce lung cancer deaths by 20% compared to X-rays.”

Nov. 4, 2010, NPR.org, “CT Scans Modestly Cut Deaths Of Smokers In Study”

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