Update in screening of lung cancer.
- Henry Ford Hospital, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.
In the USA, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. Earlier studies of CXR and sputum cytology screening conducted in the 1970s showed no mortality benefit. Accordingly, mass screening for lung cancer was abandoned and is not currently recommended. Recently, interest in lung cancer screening has been revived due to various reports showing an advantage of low-dose CT over CXR in detecting smaller size tumours and at an earlier stage. Although these reports generated much enthusiasm for screening among clinicians and the general public, the effectiveness of low-dose CT in reducing lung cancer-specific mortality rates has not been demonstrated. Large-scale randomized controlled trials are currently in progress to determine the efficacy of CXR and low-dose CT screening. This review highlights the advantages and limitations of current modalities for lung cancer screening. The cases for and against screening with currently available modalities are examined. Additional new screening modalities are also discussed.