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Lung cancer screening found to prolong lives in real-world study

lung cancer screening
Credit: Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

Among US veterans diagnosed with lung cancer through the Veterans Health Administration health care system, those who underwent screening before diagnosis were more likely to be diagnosed with earlier stage disease and had a higher cure rate than those who had not been screened.

The findings come from an observational study published online in Cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and most are diagnosed at an . Early detection through screening could save lives, and current recommendations state that adults 50–80 years old with at least a 20-pack-year smoking history who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years should undergo annual imaging tests for lung cancer.

Such screening has been shown to be beneficial in , but there are limited data on the real-world effectiveness of lung cancer screening. To investigate, researchers assessed the impact of screening among patients in the Veterans Health Administration health care system diagnosed with lung cancer from 2011–2018.

Among 57,919 individuals diagnosed with lung cancer, 2,167 (3.9%) underwent screening before . Patients who underwent screening had higher rates of early (stage I) diagnoses compared with those who had no screening (52% versus 27%), lower rates of death from any cause (49.8% versus 72.1%), and death from cancer (41.0% versus 70.3%) over five years.

"It is incredible to witness how dedicated national efforts to increase lung cancer screening from the Lung Precision Oncology Program can lead to substantial improvements in outcomes," said co–corresponding author Michael Green, MD, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Health care System.

More information: Impact of Lung Cancer Screening on Stage Migration and Mortality among the National VA Lung Cancer Population, Cancer (2024). DOI: 10.1002/cncr.35340

Journal information: Cancer
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Lung cancer screening found to prolong lives in real-world study (2024, June 10) retrieved 17 July 2024 from
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