Screening CT Scans for Lung Cancer Have Saved More Than 10,000 Lives

Robert Preidt, HealthDay reporter

THURSDAY, March 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) . A new study shows that more than 10,000 American lives have been saved. Since lung cancer screening was introduced for people over 55 with a smoking history.

But the researchers note that many poor people and those from ethnic/racial minorities are still missing out. The benefits of screening for the leading cause of death from cancer.

To assess the impact of the introduction of 2013 Low dose CT for people at high risk in the United States, the researchers analyzed data from two large cancer registries.

They found an increase of 3.9% per year early. Detection of non-small cell lung cancer. (NSCLC) and an increase in median all-cause survival of 11.9% per year from 2014 to 2018.

This increase in early detection has saved 10,100 lives in the US, according to the authors of the study published on March 30 in BMJ. By 2018 Stage 1 NSCLC was the principal diagnosis among white Americans and residents of areas with the highest incomes or the highest level of education. However, people of color and those living in poorer or less educated regions. The country was still more likely to have stage 4 disease at the time of diagnosis.

The study authors also determined other factors. Including increased use of non-screening diagnostic imaging, an increase in lung cancer overdiagnosis. Improved accuracy in cancer staging, did not play a role in the rise in early cases.

While the uptake of lung cancer screening has been slow. Screening rates have remained extremely low nationally. 

They said the newest US preventive services task force lung cancer screening guidelines, which lower the high-risk screening age to 50, expand screening eligibility for an additional 6.5 million Americans, with the most significant increase in screening eligibility occurring among women and racial minorities.

According to an accompanying editorial by Dr. Ann Meltzer, assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep at the University of Minnesota, the study shows real benefits of lung cancer screening in people at high risk. School of Medicine and Dr. Matthew Triplett, Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

But they added that efforts to expand screening “should be prioritized to ensure equal access to screening and prevent expansion differences in stage of diagnosed lung cancer and survival among different groups of patients with lung cancer.

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