X-rays Lung Cancer Deaths
October 29, 2011 by staff
The study followed more than 150,000 people for 13 years. Among the participants who had never smoked, former smokers and current smokers and found similar rates of death from lung cancer in those who had annual chest X-rays and no. The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The results confirm previous smaller-scale studies on the effectiveness of annual reviews. One possible alternative is the use of CT to detect lung cancer because they are better able to detect small tumors.
A study in 2010 showed that smokers who received CT were 20 percent less likely to die from lung cancer than those who received chest radiography. However, CT is significantly more expensive than X-rays and two types of detection can produce false positives, which can lead to unnecessary invasive testing.
“The study shows that one can not expect much at all with the detection of lung cancer with chest radiography,” said Robert Smith, senior director of the American Cancer Society. “We have put to rest whether or not lung cancer screening with chest radiography offers similar benefits to those of CT. It does not. We need to have a better understanding of how to detect lung cancer.”
Neither the American Cancer Society or the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which advises the government currently has a recommended method for screening for lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer death and is caused primarily by smoking. It is estimated that 220,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease and more than 150,000 die from it this year alone.
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