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Tomasz J. Kuzniar, Gregory A. Masters, Daniel W. Ray
Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(2): RA21-30
Despite recent advances in oncology lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer death in the United States, and its cure rate has not improved for the past 20 years. Lung cancer has been a target for numerous screening strategies, aimed at its earlier detection, and potentially improved cure.We describe the research grounds for screening for malignancies, including types of bias inherent to screening trials and present a brief discussion of potential outcomes of screening. We then discuss the results of trials of chest radiography and sputum analysis. We then comment on the recent and on-going research of computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer. Computed tomography offers many advantages over routine radiographs in screening for lung cancer. Recent data indicate an impressive stage shift and improved resectability of lung cancers detected by the CT. Large-scale studies with longer periods of follow-up will show whether these promising results will translate into an improved lung cancer-related mortality in the screened population.