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Another Study Finds Lung Cancer Screening Saves Lives
  • Posted June 11, 2024

Another Study Finds Lung Cancer Screening Saves Lives

Lung cancer patients who underwent screening were more apt to be diagnosed at earlier stages and have better outcomes than patients who were not screened, new research shows.

The findings -- from a study of close to 58,000 patients diagnosed through the U.S. Veterans Health Administration -- underscore the importance of early detection through screening. 

Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer worldwide.

Current recommendations urge annual screening for 50- to 80-year-olds with a history of smoking a pack a day or more for the last 20 years or two packs a day for the last 10.

Clinical trials have shown screening with computed tomography (CT) scans to be beneficial, but real-world data have been scarce.

This study of U.S. veterans gauged the impact of screening prior to a lung cancer diagnosis.

Researchers found that patients who were screened had higher rates of early stage cancer diagnoses than those who were not screened -- 52% versus 27%. 

Over five years, they also had lower rates of premature death from any cause (49.8% versus 72.1%) as well as death from cancer (41% versus 70.3%).

"It is incredible to witness how dedicated national efforts to increase lung cancer screening from the Lung Precision Oncology Program can lead to substantial improvements in lung cancer outcomes," said co-author Dr. Michael Green of the University of Michigan and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

The findings were published June 10 in the journal Cancer.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about lung cancer screening.

SOURCE: Wiley, news release, June 10, 2024

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