Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Image via WikipediaThe National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Science blog recently discussed the reported findings regarding the use of helical CT scans for lung cancer screening. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) in 2002 to compare the effects of two screening procedures, low-dose helical computerized tomography (CT) and chest x-ray, in reducing lung cancer mortality in current and former heavy smokers aged 55 to 74. The preliminary results from this study indicated this relatively new form of screening using helical CT demonstrated fewer lung cancer deaths among individuals at high risk of lung cancer who received this screening than among a similar group screened with chest radiography (chest x-rays or CXRs). NIOSH has great interest in this finding, and there is hope that this might provide new approaches to cancer screening among workers with increased risk for lung cancer because of past occupational exposures.