Recently, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network has come forward in favor of lung cancer screening with low-dose CT. The NCCN is the first professional organization to perform the comprehensive review and update their recommendations to promote lung cancer screening.
This update further validates the key concept that high risk patients benefit from screening. High risk patients for lung cancer diagnoses are those who are multiple pack year smokers for 25 of more years. For these individuals, low- dose CT screening reduces the number of lung cancer deaths by 20 percent.
While we don’t really know the full cost of a screening program – such as the costs of working up false positive CT findings, the benefit in lives saved seems to justify considering screening now.
Fortunately, the CT technique for screening is low dose and involves low radiation dosage.