Researchers at the University of Georgia analysed the health outcomes of 90,275 patients, comparing those who were screened versus those who received usual medical care or chest x-rays.
Their analysis found a clinically and statistically significant 0.4 per cent reduction in lung cancer-caused death long term, which translates into one preventable death per 250 at-risk adults screened. The results of the analysis were published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
The authors recognise the important potential harm of overdiagnosis in cancer screening programs, and there was some evidence of overdiagnosis due to increased incidence in the screened group.
However, based on the reduction in all-cause mortality being in the same direction and magnitude as lung cancer mortality, the authors interpret that the associated harms “do not appear to increase other causes of mortality,” and the results of the study align with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for CT-based lung cancer screenings for adults age 55 to 80 who have a history of regular smoking.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)