Screening for Lung Cancer Leads to 92% Survival Rate

By Michael Zerres

Based Upon Study of 31,567 Patients

In the October 26, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, 31,567 asymptomatic persons at risk for lung cancer (such as smokers or past-smokers) were screened annually for the disease using low-dose CT imaging. The results?: 484 participants were diagnosed with lung cancer, and, of those, 412 were diagnosed with stage 1 disease. (85% of the patients diagnosed). Of those 412 patients, 302 underwent surgical resection with one month from the time of diagnosis and had an amazing 92% survival rate. Only 8 patients with stage 1 disease elected not to receive treatment and all 8 died within 5 years from the time of diagnosis.

The authors also found screening for lung cancer in patients at risk with CT imaging to be highly cost-effective, and such cost-effectiveness was similar to that for mammography screening for breast cancer. Hopefully soon it will become the standard of care.

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