A consensus statement of the Society of Thoracic Radiology: screening for lung cancer with helical computed tomography

J Thorac Imaging. 2001 Jan;16(1):65-8. doi: 10.1097/00005382-200101000-00010.


This consensus statement by the Society of Thoracic Radiology is a summary of the current understanding of low dose computed tomography (CT) for screening for lung cancer. Lung cancer is the most common fatal malignancy in the industrialized world. Unlike the next three most common cancers, screening for lung cancer is not currently recommended by cancer organizations. Improvements in CT technology make lung screening feasible. Early prevalence data indicate that about two-thirds of lung cancers that are detected by CT screening are at an early stage. Other data support the postulate that patients with lung cancers detected at this early stage have better rates of survival. Whether this will translate into an improved disease specific mortality is yet to be demonstrated. The suggested technical protocols, selection criteria, and method of handling the numerous benign nodules that are detected are discussed. It is the consensus of this committee that mass screening for lung cancer with CT is not currently advocated. Suitable subjects who wish to participate should be encouraged to do so in controlled trials, so that the value of CT screening can be ascertained as soon as possible.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Mass Screening*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*