In an update to the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), which was launched in 2002, researchers from the United States are reporting a sustained reduction in cancer deaths from Computed Tomography (CT) lung screening over a decade later after the initial screening exam.

The research findings were recently published for medical professionals online in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Among roughly 53,000 study participants, the incidence of lung cancer was nearly the same for individuals in both the x-ray and CT lung screening cohorts. However, the lung cancer mortality rate per 1,000 individuals was 3.3 points lower for the CT screening group than it was for the x-ray group. This reduction in lung cancer mortality rate was comparable to the reduction of 3.1 points observed in the original study.

In other terms, the risk ratio of lung cancer mortality in the CT screening group compared with the x-ray group was 0.89 (p = 0.043), after adjusting to consider only the deaths of individuals who were diagnosed with cancer during the actual screening period.

What’s all the math mean?

This can be summarized in three major points:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide.
  • Early detection and treatment through screening with low-dose computed tomography has been investigated as a potential means of reducing lung cancer deaths for more than two decades.
  • This study adds further weight to the idea that CT lung screening is effective.

CT lung cancer screening is performed with ultra-low dose CT technology at our Metairie – Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Marrero, Slidell and Covington – Highway 21 centers. A referral order from a qualified medical provider is required.

Click here to learn more about ultra-low dose CT lung cancer screening services from Diagnostic Imaging Services.

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