There has been controversy about screening for lung cancer. This has gone on for many years, as the chest xray has been deemed quite imperfect in screening for this issue. On the other hand, the overdiagnosis of benign nodules with it’s attendant unnecessary lung biopsies and complications, as well as the radiation from CAT scanning (which is much more than we have given credence to) has caused a great deal of controversy with this technique.
With additional study and the development of low-dose CAT scanning of the lung, which is 5 times less radiation than a standard CAT scan, there is renewed interest in screening patients for lung cancer and now several professional organizations are recommending low-dose CAT scanning yearly for patients with the following risk factors:
- Age 55-79
- 30 pack years of smoking (that means smoking 1 pack daily for 30+ years)
- Still smoking or quit less than 15 years prior
So…this is something to consider in those who are considered ‘at risk’. These recommendations may change, but they are the latest information that was have and suggest we are moving, once again, in the direction of screening select populations.