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  • Approval: This course is approved by ASRT - an approved continuing education provider of ARRT.
  • Release Date: 7/15/2018
  • Expiration Date: 8/1/2021

Pros and Cons of Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening

Linda Giering, PhD

*Medical Writer, Matawan, New Jersey

Address correspondence to: Linda Giering, PhD. Email: lindagiering@gmail.com.

Disclosure statement: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

 

ABSTRACT

Lung cancer is the second most common form of noncutaneous cancer and is the leading cause of death in men and women. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that annual screening with low-dose computed tomography in high-risk populations reduced mortality by 15% to 20%. Based on the results of this trial, the US Preventative Services Task Force recommended lung cancer screening in high-risk men and women. Following this recommendation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a National Coverage Determination in early 2015 supporting annual lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) based on the NLST criteria. Screening is a strategy used in a population to identify the possible presence of an as-yet-undiagnosed disease in individuals without signs or symptoms. Although LDCT can detect lung cancer early, an important benefit, it can also result in potential harms including false-positive results, overdiagnosis, and unnecessary radiation exposure. This review focuses on the pros and cons of LDCT lung cancer screening and important considerations when implementing a lung cancer screening program.

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