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Postgrad Med. 2016;128(2):254-61. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2016.1134023. Epub 2016 Jan 6.

Reviewing risks and benefits of low-dose computed tomography screening for lung cancer.

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a School of Pharmacy , West Virginia University , Morgantown , WV , USA.
b Department of Molecular and Cell Biology , University of Connecticut , Storrs , CT , USA.
c School of Public Health , West Virginia University , Morgantown , WV , USA.


Lung cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality. Diagnosis at an early stage has been suggested crucial for improving survival in individuals at high-risk of lung cancer. One potential facilitator to early diagnosis is low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). The United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines call for annual LDCT screening for individuals at high-risk of lung cancer. This recommendation was based on the effectiveness of LDCT in early diagnosis of lung cancer, as indicated by the findings from the National Lung Screening Trial conducted in 2011. Although lung cancer accounts for more than a quarter of all cancer deaths in the United States and LDCT screening shows promising results regarding early lung cancer diagnosis, screening for lung cancer remains controversial. There is uncertainty about risks, cost-effectiveness, adequacy of evidence, and application of screening in a clinical setting. This narrative review provides an overview of risks and benefits of LDCT screening for lung cancer. Further, this review discusses the potential for implementation of LDCT in clinical setting.


Benefits; Low-dose computed tomography; Lung cancer; Risks; Screening

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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