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Initial Guidelines Issued for Lung Cancer Screening

Low-dose CT screening may be offered to high-risk patients after thorough discussion with doc

Initial Guidelines Issued for Lung Cancer Screening

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Initial guidelines indicate that low-dose computed-tomography lung cancer screening should be discussed with high-risk patients, with review of the potential harms, benefits, and limitations associated with screening, according to a report published online Jan. 11 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Based on findings from the National Cancer Institute's National Lung Screening Trial, demonstrating the benefit of low-dose computed-tomography for reducing lung cancer mortality in specific high-risk groups, Richard Wender, M.D., from the Thomas Jefferson University Medical College in Philadelphia, and colleagues have issued initial guidelines for lung cancer screening.

According to the guidelines, for apparently healthy patients aged 55 to 74 years, who currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years and have at least a 30-pack-year smoking history, clinicians with access to high-volume, high-quality lung cancer screening and treatment centers should initiate a discussion about screening. Potential benefits, harms, and limitations associated with screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography should be discussed with the patient, in a process of informed and shared decision making.

"Now that there is rigorous evidence supporting the value of screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed-tomography, it is important that the implementation of lung cancer screening proceeds in a manner that is focused on maximizing benefits and minimizing harms," the authors write. "As with other guidelines for cancer screening, we can expect that this initial guideline will be revised as new data become available."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Physician's Briefing