Lung cancer screening

Oncologist. 2006 May;11(5):481-7. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.11-5-481.


Advances in imaging technology have ushered in a new era for lung cancer screening in high-risk individuals using computed tomographic (CT) scans. Although most published studies are nonrandomized observational cohorts of volunteers, the ability of CT scans to detect early stage lung cancer is undisputable. What is unresolved is the ability of spiral CT screening to affect lung cancer-related mortality. A large randomized trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute to address this question is currently under way. Genomic and proteomic approaches promise to complement the ability of spiral CT to detect early lung cancer in the next few years. Currently, the decision to screen for lung cancer should involve a careful discussion with the individuals involved about the potential advantages, costs, and drawbacks of the approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / economics
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed