Tags: Cancer | lung cancer | Jane Brody | LDCT scan | smoking

Lung Cancer Lifesaver: LDCT Test

Tuesday, 09 December 2014 12:58 PM

 
 
Science and nutrition writer Jane Brody lost her husband to lung cancer in 2010. He'd smoked for 50 years, although he'd stopped 15 years earlier, and he knew there was little hope for survival when he was diagnosed with stage 4. But, says Brody in an article published in the New York Times, there's hope for millions that the disease can be detected when it's treatable.
 
The year following his death, a study concluded that CT scans could be effective in spotting the disease in high-risk current and former smokers. Under the Affordable Care Act, high-risk smokers and former smokers are eligible for a free annual screening, and if changes are put into effect, Medicare recipients will be eligible as well.
 
Lung cancer is the third most frequent cancer in the United States. Only breast cancer and prostate cancers are more common, and lung cancer kills more people than breast and prostate cancer combined, says the New York Times. Only 16 percent of those diagnosed are alive five years later.
 
Lung cancer is aggressive, and about 70 percent of cases are advanced when diagnosed — too late to be cured by surgery. Surgery can cure those diagnosed in stage 1 or 2, but only about half of those patients actually experience a cure.
 
A study of 53,454 current and former heavy smokers who appeared to be healthy found that an annual screening by low-dose computed tomography or LDCT could save three people out of 1,000 screened from dying of lung cancer.

The test isn't a complete answer to preventing deaths, though, because 14 people out of every 1,000 screened still died from the disease. Even so, the study, which was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that LDCT screening lowered the risk of dying by 20 percent when compared to patients who had conventional X-rays.
 
People eligible for free screens include those who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for thirty years and those who have quit for less than 15 years.
 
To read the entire New York Times article, go here.

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Science and nutrition writer Jane Brody lost her husband to lung cancer in 2010. He'd smoked for 50 years, although he'd stopped 15 years earlier, and he knew there was little hope for survival when he was diagnosed with stage 4. But, says Brody in an article published in...
lung cancer, Jane Brody, LDCT scan, smoking
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Tuesday, 09 December 2014 12:58 PM
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