CT Screening for Lung Cancer - An Opportunity to Evaluate Other Diseases?

(November 2, 2012)

The results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) have led to renewed interest in lung cancer screening. The NLST demonstrated that lung cancer screening using computed tomography (CT) reduces lung cancer–specific mortality by more than 20% and overall mortality by 7%.

Based on the NLST findings, the American Lung Association recommends lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans for people who meet the criteria, which include the following: current or former smokers (aged 55 to 74 years), with a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (that is, an average of a pack a day for 30 years) and with no history of lung cancer. The Lung Association emphasizes that only CT scans are recommended and that chest X-rays should not be used for lung cancer screening.  Read the full American Lung Association Guidelines

An editorial published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that lung cancer screening using CT provides an opportunity to leverage image data to assess patients for multiple other diseases of the chest, including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and possibly, osteoporosis.

Read the summary here or log in as a subscriber to read the full editorial.