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Fox Chase Cancer Center
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A national study of lung cancer from the National Institute of Health found that screening for lung cancer using low-dose chest CT scan can lower the chances of dying from lung cancer by 20%.
The goal of the study was to help find lung cancers early when they may be more treatable. The study, which called for at least three CT scans at various times, was conducted with smokers or past smokers, ages 55 to 74, who smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for at least 30 years. Approximately 200 out of 1,000 people screened during a three-year period had abnormal CT scans. After more studies, lung cancer was found in about 30 of those 300 people.
This means that about 270 out of 1,000 screened people had false positive findings. In other words, something abnormal was found that needed follow up, but was not cancer. For some of these people, this may have led to unnecessary tests or treatments that may have had certain risks.