A Scan a Year for Smokers?

Will a scan a year for smokers keep cancer away (or at least keep it curable)? According to the investigators who are doing ongoing studies of 6,318 smokers in New York City, an annual CT scan of the chest is frequent enough to detect lung cancer at an early stage when it is most curable.

Comment: The value of early annual CT screening for lung cancer is still controversial. Issues include the cost and false positive results that lead to unnecessary procedures such as biopsies and surgery.

Related Information

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com

Annual CT Detects Early-Stage Lung Cancers, Saves Lives

Dec. 3, 2003 -- CHICAGO - Annual computed tomography (CT) screening is an effective diagnostic tool for detecting early-stage lung cancer in smokers and for reducing mortality rates, according to two ongoing studies from the 10-year Early Lung Cancer Action Project (ELCAP) in New York.

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