Annual CT scan detects early-stage lung cancer

December 1, 2003

A 10-year study has determined that annual CT scans could prevent as many as half of lung cancer deaths. Annual screening detects early-stage lung cancers, which have a curability rate of 80% to 90%.

 

A 10-year study has determined that annual CT scans could prevent as many as half of lung cancer deaths. Annual screening detects early-stage lung cancers, which have a curability rate of 80% to 90%.

"More than 80% of the diagnosed lung cancer we found in initial and annual repeat CT screenings were stage I, the most curable form of lung cancer," said Dr. Claudia I. Henschke, principal investigator and division chief of chest imaging at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

An international study of 2968 high-risk patients conducted by the Early Lung Cancer Action Project found that annual screens are most likely to catch lung cancer at its earliest stages. Lung cancer symptoms often do not appear until the cancer has advanced to stage II or III.

The ELCAP study found that people with part-solid lung nodules were 19 times more likely to develop cancer than those with completely solid nodules. In addition, at-risk women are 2.2 times more likely to develop cancer than at-risk men.

"There is, as of yet, no clear consensus why women are at increased risk," Henschke said.