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New Lung Cancer Detection Guidelines

06/12/2012
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New lung cancer screening “guidelines” from three medical groups recommend annual scans but only for an older group of current or former heavy smokers.

The advice only applies to ages 55 to 74.  The risks of screening younger or older smokers or nonsmokers outweigh any benefits according to the guidelines.  The guidelines were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. An estimated 226,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.  It is the leading cause of cancer deaths for U.S. men and women.

Although regular chest X-rays can detect lung cancer, the best screening method is with the use of low-dose CT scan. CT scan can disclose false-positives, but remains the accepted screening method.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths for U.S. men and women; resulting an estimated 160,000 lung cancer related deaths. It is suggested that as many as 226,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, so screening should not be taken lightly even with these new guidelines.

About 8 million Americans would be eligible for screening under the new criteria.  So, if you are over 55, smoke, live in a household with a smoker, or have worked in an industry involving asbestos; get screened, since early diagnosis is still the best survival possibility for lung cancer patients.

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