The article I chose is called Study: CT Screening Cuts Lung Cancer Deaths; CT Scans May Be
Better Screening Method Than X-Rays for People at High Risk of Lung Cancer by Salynn Boyles.
The article I chose was about smokers and former smokers who underwent CT scan, Spiral CT
scan, or a low dose CT scan detected early lung cancer tumors. The article briefly talked about
the benefits, risk, and cost of these screenings.
Benefits. All smokers and former smokers’ lung cancer mortality rate would be reduced.
Risks. The study done resulted in 95% false positives and 40% of the false positives under went
Costs. The cost of these scans is expensive and patients may have to undergo further testing
that may be expensive as well. Patients are paying this out of their own pocket and in addition 7
million Americans meet the qualifications for screening under these guidelines resulting in
billions of dollars.
To conclude this article, experts still think it’s too early to recommend screening for everyone at
risk and because there aren’t certain guidelines for qualifications yet.
When I read this article I learned that X-ray image produces a single image of the chest while
Spiral CT involves multiple 3 dimensional images of the chest activity. I think this article was
very informative and good for patients to know in regards to benefits, risk, and cost of these
Journal Review on Lung Cancer
In the article, “Lung Cancer, Cardiopulmonary Mortality, and Long-Term Exposure to Fine
Particulate Air Pollution,” byC. Arden Pope III, PhD., Richard T. Burnett, PhD., Michael J.
Thun, MD., Eugenia E. Calle, PhD., Daniel Krewski, PhD., Kazuhiko Ito, PhD., George D.
Thurston, ScD., discusses the relationship between air pollution and lung cancer, along with
cardiopulmonary death and other health conditions. The author’s analyze data collected by the
American Cancer Society. In this study participants completed a questionnaire about individual
risk factors, such as age, smoking history and occupational exposure from 1982 to 1998. The
article states that fine particulate and sulfur oxide related pollution were related to all the cases
noted in this study. The study results indicate that living in metropolitan areas is an important
risk factor for cardiopulmonary mortality. The author’s results indicated that elevated fine air
pollutants are related to the increase in lung cancer mortality. One result that I thought that was
important to include was that both cardiopulmonary and lung cancer mortality relative risk
estimates here higher in nonsmokers from fine particle air pollution. The article concludes the
results by stating that lung cancer mortality and cardiopulmonary mortality are still observed
even after cigarette smoking, diet, and other individual risk factors have been excluded from the
picture, when it comes to fine air pollutants. Overall, fine particle air pollution has a relationship
between lung cancer and cardiopulmonary mortality. Reading this article has made me realize no
matter how healthy an individual is including being a nonsmoker or working in an environment
that exposes an individual to chemicals in the air, a person can be exposed to air pollutants that
cause cardiopulmonary mortality and lung cancer. When it comes to living in a metropolitan,
area, long term exposure to combustion-related pollutants is the number one risk factor for
cardiopulmonary and lung cancer death.
One Hundred Years of Lung Cancer
Stephen G. Spiro and Gerard A. Silvestri
Hundreds of years ago, lung cancer was a reportable disease, and it is now the
common cause of death from cancer in both men and women. This article discusses
the rapid onset of lung cancer shortly after the First World War, which some believe this
is where lung cancer started.
Little did they know that when General John J. "Black Jack" stated, "you ask me
what it is we need to win this war. I answer tobacco as much as bullets". Was this really
the start of smoking that increased all the reported lung cases? Sir Richard Doll and
Austin Hill's landmark article was published in 1950 in the British Medical Journal, which
confirmed suspicions that lung cancer was associated with cigarette smoking. Lung
cancer is the most preventable respiratory disease worldwide . However lung cancer is
not decreasing in the developed world, an epidemic of untold proportions is increasing in
Since then there have been two major efforts to screen for lung cancer over the
last century. The first was:
Based on chest radiographs in the 1970s and 1980s
This test uses low-dose computed tomography (CT), and is ongoing
Research has been found that the CT is much more sensitive for detecting
pulmonary nodules than the standard chest radiograph. This article discusses some
trials that have been run along with the outcome.
The spiral CT detects more lung cancers than does chest radiograph, but
also a high prevalence of noncalcified nodules.
The low-dose CT trials have shown a stage shift, with a higher proportion
of cancers than expected detected at an earlier, presumably more
However the CT scan remains the most widely used imaging test to stage
patients with lung cancer. The test is useful in defining the extent of the tumor, whether
there is involvement of:
Assess the size of the mediastinal lymph nodes
Treatment for lung cancer has not changed much over the years. Lung cancer
treatment is based on the type and stage of tumor present and the patient's overall
health. Treatment options include:
Combination of treatments
If the patient shows no signs or symptoms the mass may be detected on a chest
X-ray or CT scan. Other signs and symptoms relating to lung cancer may be but are
not limited to.
Shortness of breath
Paralysis of the vocal cords leading to hoarseness
Weight loss and fatigue
Collapse of a portion of the lung may occur and cause infections
(abscesses, pneumonia) in the obstructed area
Overall the article touches base on where we were before and where we are now
in recognizing lung cancer and treating it. Factors that may Influence or increase your
risks for lung cancer include but are not limited to:
Second hand smoke
Exposure to radon
Exposure to asbestos
Exposures to other hazardous materials
Heavy metals entering a drinking system include but are not limited to:
Air pollutants include but are not limited to:
smoke from burning coal
vapors from cooking oil
Title of Article: CT Scans Cut Lung Cancer Deaths, Study Finds
Author: Karen Patterson
This study included more than 53,000 current or former heavy smokers aged 55 to 74. A
helical CT scan can reduce deaths of lung cancer patients. Older people with a long history of
heavy smoking, can reduce the odds of lung cancer death by 20% with a CT scan, compared with
screening by a chest x-ray. “The study found that 442 deaths from lung cancer had occurred
among participants receiving the chest x-rays, compared with only 354 among recipients of
helical CT scans” (Patterson). Also the study found that the death rate from any cause was 7%
lower among having a CT scan. The results don’t necessarily apply to people who have not been
heavy smokers for a long time now or in the past and harms of the test could outweigh the
benefits. I thought this wasn’t a complete study because what happened to the other 52,000
participants. Also the study should have had all types of smokers plus people who stopped
Advances in Treatment for Lung Cancer
The article that I found was from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/50599.php
, on August 28, 2006. The article talked about how there is a new non-surgical procedure as
an optional treatment for lung cancer.
The article talked about how lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the United States.
90,000 men and 73,000 women lose their lives every year. This is because by the time
people are diagnosed, the cancer is inoperable for 85% of them due to respiratory or other
health issues. For patients with these issues, using interventional radiological procedures
which are minimally invasive, can offer effective treatments with only slight discomfort and
a decent quality of life.
The procedures that are used are thermal ablation with Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or
microwaves. RFA offers a non-surgical localized treatment which kills the tumor cells using
heat while sparing nearby healthy tissues. Interventional technologists use imaging to
guide a small needle through the skin and into the tumor, where it then transmits energy to
kill the tumor using either heat or cold.
Microwave ablation uses electromagnetic microwaves to disturb water molecules in the
tumor and surrounding tissue. This will reverse the cells polarity causing the cells to rotate
back and forth, causing friction and heat, which kills the cells.
In recent studies 57% of the patients that were treated survived an additional 3 years than
expected. After treatment most people are able to resume normal activities a few days after
the out-patient treatment.
I think that this could be a great advance for people with lung cancer. The fact that this
treatment is non-invasive and an outpatient procedure would also make patients more
willing to have one of these procedures. The cost should also be reasonable compared to
Treatment of Early Stage Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
Authors: Praveen N. Mathur, Eric Edell, Tom Sutedja, and Jean-Michel Vergnon
This journal discussed therapeutic treatment options available for management of
endobronchial malignancies in the lung. Lung cancers can be detected in high-risk
patients through a variety of screening techniques. These include:
Microscopic analysis of cells in sputum
Bronchoscopy (fiber-optic examination of bronchial passages)
Low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) scans
Early stages of lung cancer present few or no symptoms, and a majority of lung
cancers are diagnosed in the late stages. Testing people who are known to be at high
risk for developing lung cancer may help find tumors at an earlier stage when they are
small and more easily treated. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for about
80% of lung cancers. There are different types of NSCLC. These include:
Squamous cell carcinoma. This is the most common type of NSCLC. It forms in
the lining of the bronchial tubes and is the most common type of lung cancer
Adenocarcinoma. This is found in the glands of the lungs that produce mucus.
This is the most common type of lung cancer in women and also among
people who have not smoked.
Bronchioalveolar carcinoma. This is a rare subset of adenocarcinoma. It forms
near the lungs' air sacs. Recent clinical research has shown that this type of
cancer responds more effectively to the newer targeted therapies.
Large-cell undifferentiated carcinoma. This cancer forms near the surface, or
outer edges, of the lungs. It can grow rapidly.
Traditionally, the only treatment available for non-small cell lung cancers was
surgical resection. 70% of cases required a lobectomy and the remaining 30% either had
a bilobectomy or pneumonecotmy. Now, there has been an increase in new treatment
advances for lung cancer. Endobronchial therapies that preserve lung function in
patients with non-small cell lung cancers have been developed and include:
Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
o This treatment bbegins with the injection of a light-sensitive
medication into a vein. 1-3 days later the doctor shines light of a
certain wavelength onto the tumor from inside the. The light destroys
the cells that have absorbed the light-sensitive medication, as well as
other cells in the area.
o Worldwide data showed that patients with early lung cancer treated
with PDT achieved a complete response in approximately 75% of cases
with a recurrence rate of approximately 30%. Photodynamic therapy
isn't effective for widespread cancers or tumors that can't be reached
by the light.
o This treatment uses a probe or needle heated by an electric current to
destroy abnormal tissue. This may be beneficial to use in early
superficial squamous cell carcinoma, and can be used as an alternative
o A small study in early lung cancer of 13 patients showed a complete
response to electrocautery treatment in 80% of lesions with no
recurrence of cancer at 22 months of follow-up.
High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy
o This treatment offers a fast, precise way to give radiation treatment for
some lung cancer patients. The radiation is deposited inside a tumor,
delivering a maximum dose while minimizing exposure to the
surrounding healthy tissue.
o Two small studies of early stage lung cancer of 34 patients showed a
complete response of 85% to brachytherapy treatment over two years
ND-YAG Laser Therapy
o This treatment is used and precisely aimed to cut or destroy a tumor
through the use of a laser light. It has been used extensively as a
palliative measure but has not been widely studied for treatment of
early stage lung cancer.
In conclusion, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is one of the most studied
endobronchial treatments for early lung cancer for patients who are not candidates for
surgical resection. Other treatments such as electrocautery, cryotherapy,
brachytherapy, and laser therapy are not well studied, but seem to have similar
response rates to photodynamic therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer
(NSCLC). I found this article very informational. It gave great insight into the different
treatments now being used in patients with early stage lung cancer, I know feel like I
have a better understanding of non-small lung cancer and the different types. I find it
very encouraging to read that there is an increase in new treatment advances for lung
cancer. Even though some of these advances are still undergoing research in clinical
trials, others have been approved and are being used for treatment of patients.
Vaccine May Help Slow Spread of Lung Cancer
Experimental Vaccine Targets a Protein Linked to Many
Cases of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer
The article that I found was on the WebMD website. In the article it discusses a study that was
done in Europe by Elisabeth Quiox, MD a professor of pulmonology at the University of
Strasbourg, in France. Dr. Quiox did a study on an experimental cancer vaccine that could
potentially slow down the spread of cancer in lung cancer patients. The experimental vaccine
works by targeting a protein that is linked to half of all the non-small-cell lung cancer cases. This
is the most common type of lung cancer in the world.
She did her study in Europe and included 148 patients that all had advanced lung cancer. The
patients were divides into two equal groups. One of these groups received standard
chemotherapy to treat their cancer, while the other group received the experimental vaccine
TG4010 along with their chemotherapy. The belief is that the vaccine stimulates the immune
system to destroy the cancer cells. What the researchers were hoping for was to stop the
progression of cancer in at least 40% of the patients enrolled in the six month study. They
monitored the progress of the patients by having each patient receive a CT scan every six weeks
to check and see if the disease was spreading or not. When the six months was over 32 of the 74
patients who received the vaccine showed no signs of progression in their disease. That was a
percentage of 43.2 letting the researchers count the study as a success. At the same time 35% of
the patient’s that received just standard chemotherapy showed similar results as the same group.
The researchers counted the trial as a success and believe that the results suggest that the
combination of vaccine and chemotherapy will lead to the patients to have a longer life and
better chance of survival than those patients who take standard chemotherapy by itself. The
researchers also say that they may have discovered a potential biomarker that will allow doctors
to be able to determine which patient’s would be more likely to benefit from the vaccine.
The article did have the responses from a couple of doctors from the United States that looked at
the study. Dr. Raftopoulos from New York says that feels that the study does not show great
results, and that the study was inconclusive. The reasons for this belief are because he felt that
there was not a great enough difference between the two groups. The other doctor was Dr. Alan
Sandler a lung specialist at Oregon Health and Science University. Alan Sandler is excited that
there is the possibility that the researchers may have identified a potential biomarker for
treatments of lung cancer. He also thinks that they are doing the appropriate thing by setting up a
phase 3 trial.
THE ROLE OF THE RESPIRATORY THERAPIST IN PLANNING A
STATEWIDE TOBACCO SURVIVORS NETWORK
Lawrence O. Bryant, Lynda T. Goodfellow; School of Health Professions, Georgia State
University, Atlanta, GA
My article was based out of Atlanta, Georgia. There is of great concern for the
state of Georgia due to high numbers deaths due to lung cancer secondary to smoking.
Out of 10,000 Georgians that die every year due to tobacco related illnesses, 75% of
them die due to lung cancer secondary to smoking. The American Cancer Society
saw this of great discern and implemented that Respiratory Care Practitioners take a
greater role in the education of the consequences of smoking. Their main focus was
aimed at young school children of Georgia. Their goal was to try preventive measures
with education. They had 51 volunteers to speak on behalf of this new program. Out
of these 51 volunteers, 8 were tobacco survivors, 23 were respiratory therapy students,
12 were health care professionals, 4 were family members of a lost one to lung cancer,
& 3 were just anonymous.
After their presentations, they handed out surveys about the information that
they received. They were looking for what spectators at these functions had learned
& to determine if what they were doing was helpful. Out of the surveys that were
returned 92% said that learned new information or didn’t know of a lot of the
consequences of smoking.
Their goal is to see if the death rate of lung cancer secondary to smoking
decreases. The study is ongoing & was done in 2009. The study didn’t comment on
how many schools were targeted or how many students, it would be interesting to
Experimental Vaccine Shows Promise For Lung Cancer
Author: HealthDay News for Healthier Living
There is new research that shows that combining a new vaccine, still in trial stages, when
combined with chemotherapy can slow down the progress of non-small cell lung cancer. There is some
downside to this method due to the chance of increased side effects, as opposed to chemotherapy
alone. The results of the experiment have been small but as the researchers indicate that any progress
is good. The experiment was conducted on 148 patients and after six months 43% of the patients that
received the combination saw a decreased progression of the cancer. In the group that only received
chemo that number was 35%. Side effects in the combination group were at 52% , and 47% in the single
Looking at these results makes me wonder about what my choice would be if I had to receive
treatment for lung cancer. Because non-small cell lung cancer is the number one cause of death around
the world, and usually not survivable maybe it is worth the risk. It is a personal choice and a hard one to
make but unless you are in that situation it is hard to say. I am just glad that there are people out there
willing to take the risk and help these doctors keep trying to find new ways to cure this awful disease.
Title of Article: Why Do Non-Smokers Get Lung Cancer?
Author: Krisha McCoy, MS, Pat F. Bass III, MD MPH
When it is said that someone has lung cancer most people will think that the person
was or is currently a smoker. This is not always true. I found this article interesting
because I lost a relative due to lung cancer and she was never a smoker and no one in
her household was a smoker.
Roughly 160,000 people die each year as a result of lung cancer. Although there are
other things that can cause lung cancer smoking is still at the top of the list making it the
number one cause.
After smoking on the list of causes is radon. I have heard of radon before but never
understood what exactly it was or where it came from. Radon is a gas that can be
found in rock, soil and water. It is a product of decay. It enters homes from
cracks/holes in the foundation. It is the radioactive particles in radon that damages the
lungs. This can lead to lung cancer. Homes can be checked for radon and systems
can filter and lower radon levels.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is next on the list. Secondhand smoke comes from a
pipe, cigar or cigarettes. If a person is continuously around people who smoke in their
home or at an establishment where they work they are exposed enough to cause
secondhand smoke. This exposure can lead to lung cancer. Luckily in our area there
are smoking bans so people cannot smoke in public places. I recall going to
restaurants and being in the non smoking area and still smelling smoke. I didn’t like that
having smoking bans is wonderful. If someone is exposed to radon and secondhand
smoke they are even more vulnerable to getting lung cancer.
Some other things that can cause lung cancer are asbestos, radiation therapy,
combustion products and other carcinogens. There are other factors that researchers
believe could cause lung cancer such as cooking fumes and ethnicity.
Risk of Rare Lung Cancer Could Be Increased By Goats
Author: Petra Rattue
A recent study which was presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual
Congress, reported that French researchers determined that the exposure to goats may
increase a person’s risk of a certain type of lung cancer, which is known as pneumonic-type
lung adenocarcinoma, or P-ADC. P-ADC is not linked to tobacco smoking as compared to
other types of lung cancer.
Scientists had previously attempted to identify triggers that may cause the disease and had
discovered some similarities between P-ADC and a viral infection that affects a sheep’s
lungs. The researchers decided to determine if the virus found in sheep and goats could be
easily transmitted to humans who come in contact with the animals on a regular basis.
The most current study was done on 44 patients with P-ADC and another 132 people that
did not have the disease. All participants received questionnaires to assess multiple risk
factors such as, smoking status, personal history of cancer, and their exposure to goats. The
study showed that the people who had regular exposure to goats during their lifetime had a
five times higher risk of developing P-ADC as compared with other types of lung cancer.
There was also a higher link between P-ADC and females and people who never smoked or
had no personal history of cancer.
These findings show that the exposure to goats may be a risk factor for this type of lung
cancer, but other studies must be done to determine other possible risk factors for the
I found this article interesting simply because I would not have thought a person could get
any type of lung cancer from an animal.
The increased risk of lung cancer is discussed in an article entitled “Link Between Heavy Alcohol
Consumption and Lung Cancer”. Oddly enough the article begins by stating individuals with a higher
BMI (body mass index) who consume black tea and fruit have a decreased risk of being diagnosed, when
compared to someone who has a history of heavy alcohol consumption. It should be noted that African
American males and Asian females are at a naturally increased risk for lung cancer. Further more
women’s risks for lung cancer are decreased when they are non smokers and comsume black tea. It was
stated that both males and females benefit from having a higher BMI and consume a moderate amount
of fruit. As its noted in the title of the article there is a link between lung cancer and heavy alcohol
consumption, but there is no definitive link with a moderate alcohol consumption.
After knowing that there was an exisiting tie between alcohol and lung cancer, I began to
wonder if all alchol had the same effects. The answer is that beer is usually the drink of choice for heavy
drinkers so the study wasn’t truly able to correlate the results of individuals who drank wine or liquor is
large amounts. The best way to decrease a personal chance of developing cancer, it is important to lead
a healthy lifestyle. It should be taken into consideration that smoking is still the leading cause of many
existing cancers. I found this topic interesting as I would have never thought to link the two topics
together. Whenever I think of alcohol, I assume/link it to liver malfunctions/diseases.
Lung Cancer Journal Review
Annals of Oncology: Lung cancer in women: age, smoking, histology, performance
status, stage, initial treatment and survival. Population-based study of 20 561 cases
Authors: E. Radzikowska, P. Głaz and K. Roszkowski
This journal article discusses lung cancer in women in relation to age, smoking,
and status of the cancer. In the research done in this article, 20561 patients were
assessed, 2875 being women and 17,686 were men. This research was done over a
four year period. Smoking history, demographics, histology, treatment and survival
were all assessed in this research done. Women in this group showed that the
incidence of lung cancer happens earlier than in men. Most of the patients in the study
were smokers or ex smokers. Women in the study were more likely to be non smokers
than men, but only 4.3% of all cancer patients are non smokers. Both 21% of men and
women had stage 1 cancer of the 91% of the patients that had histological diagnoses of
lung cancer, but in stage II and III cancer, a higher percentage was found in men than
women. More women than men were treated with surgery, or surgery with
chemotherapy. The proportion of females to males is increasing. Age is a big factor in
the risk of cancer. In this study, patients between the ages of 60 to 69 had the highest
incidence of cancer. Women with cancer were younger than men, and women were
more likely to have adenocarcinoma and small cell lung cancer than men, and
squamous cell cancer is more likely in men. The relationship between smoking and
squamous and small cell cancer is more predominant than the relationship between
smoking and adenocarcinoma. Women who developed cancer younger in age were
more likely to be non-smokers, smoked fewer cigarettes per day if they were smokers,
or smoked for a shorter period of time than men, showing that women may be more
susceptible to the carcinogens in cigarette smoke.
I learned that women can be more affected by the carcinogens in cigarette
smoke than men, according to the findings in this study. I also learned that women
were diagnosed with lung cancer younger than men. I was surprised to learn that 4.3%
of all cancer patients were actually non smokers as well.
Lung Cancer—Where Are We Today?
Stephen G. Spiro and Joanna C. Porter
This article addresses the major cause of lung cancer which is smoking. The higher rates of smoke
related lung cancer occur more in develop countries than in under developed nations and have a higher
mortality rate in men than other cancers and higher rate women even with the combination of breast,
cervical, and colorectal cancers. The rate of cancer among men has drop somewhat, the rate of cancer
has raised in woman up to 33% who may be considered more susceptible to cancers and only increase
their chances of getting cancer by smoking. Although smoking and cancer related cancers in the U.S.
have dropped, the tobacco industry is targeting South America and Asia as its new market. These
countries will not only increase the rise of cancer worldwide but will not have the monitory ability to pay
for treatment which will raise the mortality rate.
The biggest problem with cancer is its inability to be detected at an early stage and normally shows up
only after patient shows symptoms and at this point it is usually stage 3 or 4 four and life expectancy is
only about 6-12 months with a 5 year survival rate at about 5-10%. Studies to detect early stage cancers
have found that random x-rays for those at high risk of getting cancer were improved and usually caught
it at an earlier stage. But they found CT found cancer much earlier and detected it more effectively than
chest x-rays which helped in an earlier intervention and treatment with a higher success rate in. The use
of EBUS normally used to detect how far the cancer has spread in the lungs or used after symptoms of
cancer have developed to confirm the presences of cancer. EBUS is now used as a early detection
method with higher detection the CT by finding markers in the sputum up to a year earlier than CT can
detect the cancer. Although this may be a more efficient way to detect cancer, we still are going have to
find cheaper ways to make it more feasible. Treatment usually is determined on a patient to patient
basis including chemotherapy, lobotomy, or the removal of lung segments or the combination of
chemotherapy and surgery. Research into less evasive treatments with less side effects are currently
being researched with the possibility if a vaccination made from the cancer cell itself and more precise
application of chemotherapy and other drugs targeting cancer cells only leaving healthy cells from
damage or destruction. I think this article taught me a lot about lung cancer and facts associated with
cancer but as it states in this article if people would quit smoking it would reduce cancer tenfold to all
the therapies given or found in future research.
Title: Lung Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Double their Survival Chances
This article may be a source of encouragement for smokers diagnosed with early
detection of lung cancer. Apparently, according to a study performed by some
researchers at the University of Birmingham, people who have been diagnosed
with early stage lung cancer are able to double their chances of survival over five
years if they quit smoking compared to those who continue to smoke.
Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer
Lifelong smokers have a 20 fold increased risk of developing CA of the
lung compared to non – smokers
There is a greater risk of death and cancerous tumors returning for
those who continued to smoke with early stage CA of the lung than
those who quit smoking
A five year survival rate of 63 – 70% was found among quitters
compared with 29-33% among those who continued to smoke
I have found this article to be encouraging as this study has proved to me that it is
never too late to quit smoking. This article should encourage every RT to remain
hopeful in their continued efforts to encourage smoking cessation; even when
their patient has an early diagnosis of lung cancer.
Journal Review Lung cancer
The article I chose to review is called, Screening for Lung Cancer with Low-Dose Spiral computed
Tomography. In this study, the researchers were trying to determine the pros and cons of using low
dose spiral computed tomography for diagnosis of lung cancer.
1,520 people were selected for the study and had to meet the following criteria: asymptomatic men and
women, age 50 or older, current or past smokers (within 10 years), and at least 20 pack years. They
agreed to undergo computerized tomography, along with blood testing, induced sputum, and
spirometry. After enrollment, there were some people who did not continue on with the study for
After the study, there were 25 people diagnosed with primary lung cancer. 23 of these were diagnosed
because of computerized tomography, and 2 because of sputum cytology alone. There is a high
incidence of false-positives through the study though. The findings read, “It is plausible that earlier
detection of lung cancer by computed tomography may result in decreased mortality”. Another concern
with using computerized tomography is expense. For this to be a widely accepted means of diagnosis,
another study would have to be performed including disease-specific mortality and cost effectiveness.
I think this study was very interesting. There were many other tests performed, but still the CT prevailed
in diagnosis. The down side is that it also provided many false-positive results. I would be interested in
seeing further studies done on this subject, to see if they have made any progress with it.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine