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Study Uncovers Way to Reduce Early Recall Rates for Lung Cancer Screening

Apr 11th 2015 at 9:40 PM

Heavy smokers and others at high risk for the development of lung cancer will find that early detection of this disease may lead to higher chances of survival. With that in mind, it’s not uncommon for doctors to recommend screening exams to detect the presence of this disease as early as possible.

While early detection is often the key to survival, lung cancer false positives are rather common with routine screening exams. This can, of course, lead to the need for repeat scans while also causing extra expenses and anxiety for those facing a possible diagnosis. Add to this the fact that invasive follow-up procedures may be ordered when they are not entirely necessary and a dilemma is born.

Researchers in Germany may have found a better protocol to keep critical early screenings on the schedule without greatly increasing the risks of false positives and unnecessary procedures in the process. The German Lung Cancer Screening Intervention Trial’s findings delver some insights on how to achieve the goals without all the potential pitfalls. Study researchers found that the early repeat scan rate for findings that are suspicious dropped by some 80 percent when a second low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screen is performed. Even so, researchers insist that an organized screening program that includes a baseline scan be available to help doctors navigate forward.

How important is early detection? The simple answer is very. American researchers from the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial shed light on the subject. Their study showed that LDCT screening can reduce mortality rates by 20 percent and overall mortality by 7 percent, making early, accurate detection and proper treatment critical.

People who are at high risk for lung cancer should talk to their doctors about the benefits of early screening for this disease. Skilled physicians will have an organized screening protocol in place that can help ensure detection while striving to limit the anxiety of false positives.

About Author
Choice Cancer Care is an independent, physician-owned cancer center network. Dr. Gregory Echt, a radiation oncologist with over two decades of experience, is the founder of Choice Cancer Care. Choice Cancer Care is among the busiest practices in the country for brachytherapy, or prostate seed implant therapy – a cancer treatment plan for prostate cancer that provides remarkable success rates and fewer life-limiting side effects.

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