Low-dose CT Scan and Lung Cancer Diagnosis

  • November 16, 2018
  • Blog
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A research was conducted by National Lung Testing Trial (NLST) to determine which investigation among computed tomography (CT) and radiography is more sensitive to detect lung cancer. This research comprised of 3 rounds. The results showed 20% decreased mortality in patients investigated by low dose helical computed tomography as compared to patients investigated by anterior-posterior chest radiography.  This study is published in the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE in September 5. Professor of Radiology and Bioengineering Denise R. Abel and his colleagues reported this finding in the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE. Computed Tomography is capable of detecting cancer in very early stage.

lung cancer screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. The lung cancer is usually diagnosed after the size of the lesion is large enough to cause symptoms. At this stage, the required treatment is very aggressive and consist of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and extensive surgery. The prognosis is not very good if the cancer is in advanced stages. Your survival chances greatly depend on the detection of cancer stage, for example, if the cancer is detected in stage 1 then your chances of survival are good. NLST research concluded that spiral Computed Tomography detect cancer in its early stages which prolong survival and decrease mortality.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends to get annual screening of lung cancer with low dose Computed Tomography in high risk patients. McWilliams M.B from the Vancouver General Hospital stated:

“Predictive tools based on patient and nodule characteristics can be used to accurately estimate the probability that lung nodules detected on baseline screening low-dose CT scans are malignant,” 

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