LUNG CANCER SCREENING REVIEW - A number of organizations now recommend lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans in heavy smokers who meet certain criteria (see lung cancer screening recommendations). In the past, annual chest X-rays have been studied as a screening tool for lung cancer. Chest X-ray screening has not been found to decrease lung cancer mortality. In 2011, results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) were published. The NLST was an enormous, randomized controlled trial (53,454 subjects) that compared annual screening with low-dose CT scan to annual screening with chest X-ray in heavy smokers. The trial showed that low-dose CT scan screening reduced lung cancer mortality and overall mortality compared to chest X-ray screening. Since the publication of the NLST trial, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the USPSTF have all made recommendations in favor of lung cancer screening based on the NLST results.


NLST Study - Annual Low-Dose CT Scan vs Annual Chest X-Ray for Lung Cancer Mortality in Heavy Smokers, NEJM (2011) [Pubmed Abstract] Bibliography
1 - ACS GL
2 - JAMA review - PMID 23512063
3 - BMJ study - PMID 10926586
4 - NLST study PubMed Abstract