Sunday, November 19, 2006
Article in the Chicago Tribune -- LUNG CANCER, To screen or not to screen: A case for early detection, by Hasham A. Hassaballa:
"Is there no way to screen for lung cancer like other cancers?"
That question ignites one of the most contentious debates in modern pulmonary medicine, and the results of a study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine have only added to the controversy.
Researchers from more than 30 hospitals around the world, led by Weill Cornell Medical College, used CT scans to screen about 31,000 people who were at a high risk for lung cancer.
They found cancer in 484 of those participants, 412 of whom had Stage 1 disease, the earliest stage. Most had surgery, although some were treated with chemotherapy and radiation as an alternative to surgery. Eight patients received no treatment.
The researchers estimated that 88 percent of patients with Stage 1 lung cancer would survive 10 years. And if patients begin treatment within one month of their diagnosis, it is estimated that 92 percent of them would be alive 10 years later. The eight patients who received no treatment all died within five years.