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Screening touted for smokers with family history of lung can

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http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?actio ... s&id=77668

Washington: People who smoke, or have done so in the past have been advised to undergo early preventive screening of the lungs with spiral computed tomography for prevalence of cancer, especially those who have a family history of the disease.

An article published in the January 2006 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published by the American Thoracic Society, has emphasized that 85 to 95 percent of all lung cancers are attributable to cigarette smoking, and though the rate of lung cancer in the U.S. has dropped over the past two decades as a result of extraordinary personal and public health smoking cessation efforts, further efforts need to be made to identify high-risk populations.

Ann G. Schwartz, Ph.D., of the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, along with an associate, in the article, pointed out that individuals with a family history of lung cancer are at approximately a two- to threefold increased risk of developing the illness, and in one screening study, at least one first-degree relative had lung cancer in almost 14 percent of the 26,000 patients diagnosed with the disease.

“Because cigarette smoking is such an overwhelming risk factor and preventable, the importance of family history and genetic susceptibility to lung cancer risk has been overlooked,” Dr. Schwartz said.

“Although evidence pointing to a gene for lung cancer is substantial, the problems associated with the conduct of a linkage study in lung cancer are even greater,” “The average age of lung cancer diagnosis is 70 years and 5-year survival after diagnosis continues to be poor, at 15 percent, so affected family members are typically deceased, as are their parents, siblings and spouses,” she said.

“While debate continues about the efficacy of spiral computed tomography screening for lung cancer in broad population of smokers, the ability to focus screening efforts in a truly high-risk subpopulation would clearly be of benefit now,” she added.

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