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CT Screening for Lung Cancer Questioned

Study finds no proof it offers any benefits

WEDNESDAY, June 9, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- There's no proof that using computed tomography (CT) to screen for lung cancer offers any patient benefits, claims a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic.

They concluded the medical literature offers no evidence to support the widely held belief that CT saves lives because it can detect lung cancers at a smaller size than other screening methods.

"Finding a lung cancer when it is smaller does not necessarily mean the cancer is at an earlier stage of development," Dr. Edward Patz, a professor of radiology and of pharmacology/cancer biology at Duke, said in a prepared statement.

"The genetic characteristics of a tumor likely dictate its behavior more than its size. Smaller lung tumors can represent late-stage cancer," Patz said.

The study appears in the June 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about lung cancer.

SOURCE: Duke University Medical Center, news release, June 1, 2004
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