Controversies in lung cancer screening

J Am Coll Radiol. 2013 Dec;10(12):931-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2013.09.013.


There remains an extensive debate over lung cancer screening, with lobbying for and against screening for very compelling reasons. The National Lung Screening Trial, International Early Lung Cancer Program, and other major screening studies favor screening with low-dose CT scans and have shown a reduction in lung cancer--specific mortality. The increasing incidence of lung cancer and the dismal survival rate for advanced disease despite improved multimodality therapy have sparked an interest in the implementation of national lung cancer screening. Concerns over imaging workflow, radiation dose, management of small nodules, overdiagnosis bias, lead-time and length-time bias, emerging new technologies, and cost-effectiveness continue to be debated. The authors address each of these issues as they relate to radiologic practice.

Keywords: CT scan; Lung cancer; low-dose CT; lung cancer screening; overdiagnosis bias; tumor volume doubling time.

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Radiography
  • Radiology / organization & administration*
  • United States
  • Unnecessary Procedures*