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In the news yesterday about ct scans


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Yesterday I read article in the news that I found confusing. It said that now they do not believe that scans help the survival rate. It was always my understanding that the earlier caught the better your chances were. It seemed to condradict itself when talking about 5 year survival rate and long term survival in general. Maybe I was just just reading it wrong but I found it confusing and like there is now sense in having checkups if they do no good at improving your odds anyway. Also I noticed on my onco note that my ct scan in june is for restaging. Why would they restage if I have been ned so far and I thought they only staged you once. Thank you. I find this site very helpful and am glad it is here/Mike ,stage 2b nslc.lung removed 08-05 along with 17 nodes which2 had been effected. Ned in all followups so far.

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In my opinion, ct scans are an important part of early detection. If I had not had early detection, via a ct scan, I would be in a worse situation today. I think the most often criticized aspect of ct scans is that there can be non malignant nodules that show up...whatever. I would rather just sort through them than miss a malignant tumor altogether.

When it is time to be rescanned, the docs always use the term "restaging" for insurance purposes.

Don M

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LUNG CANCER ALLIANCE MAINTAINS STRONG SUPPORT FOR

EARLY DETECTION FOR LUNG CANCER

Advocacy Group Responds to New CT Scanning Study in March 7 Issue of

Journal of the American Medical Association

Washington, DC [March 6, 2007] – Today, Lung Cancer Alliance President, Laurie Fenton, responded to the most recent criticism of CT screening, calling it “another delaying tactic to deny people at high risk for lung cancer the chance to have it detected at an early, treatable stage.”

“Hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake here,” said Fenton. “Lung cancer has been so ignored, so stigmatized, and under-researched that it is killing more people each year than all the other major cancers combined.”

“The only hope that people at high risk for lung cancer have of beating this disease is to do what we have done for other cancers, and that is to find it early when it can be treated and cured,” Fenton continued.

Breast, prostate and colon cancers, which have widely accepted screening tests, now have five year survival rates of 88 percent, 99 percent, and 65 percent, respectively. Currently, without screening, more than 70 percent of lung cancer patients are being diagnosed so late that death occurs within months. The five year survival rate for lung cancer patients is still only 15 percent.

An article published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that high risk individuals should not be screened for lung cancer until more studies have been conducted, as the authors claim CT scans may cause more harm than good.

-MORE-

LCA Responds to JAMA Study

Page 2 of 2

“This is not productive,” declared Fenton. “We have heard these same statistical arguments used for years to delay screening for breast cancer, and there are many in the medical community who are still debating mammograms for women in their 40s even after eight trials have been completed.”

“Why is lung cancer being held to a different standard?” continued Fenton. “We are talking about a high risk population and no one argues that CT scans can detect lung cancer at a very early stage, not even the authors of the article.”

“The issue is how to manage the suspicious nodules once they are found,” she said.

The longest and most comprehensive study conducted to date is the 13 year-long study of 30,000 individuals by the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP), which demonstrates that CT scans can detect lung cancer at its earliest stage 85 percent of the time. For those treated immediately, the chance of surviving ten years is 92 percent.

The cost of CT scans has fallen below $200 retail, though most are still not covered by Medicare or insurance policies unless the patient already has symptoms. Once diagnosed, subsequent scans are covered.

“We stand by our position,” said Fenton. “If you are at risk for lung cancer, it is essential that you speak with your doctor about getting a CT scan. These scans should be conducted in a facility with experience in lung cancer, and include a multi-disciplinary team of doctors to confirm the diagnosis.”

Those at increased risk for developing lung cancer include former smokers, people with a history of lung cancer in the immediate family, those who have been exposed to smoke, asbestos, or other carcinogens, or were in active duty in the military – especially on submarine duty or exposed to Agent Orange, nuclear fuels or other cancer-causing materials.

The Lung Cancer Alliance (www.LungCancerAlliance.org) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to patient support and advocacy for people living with, or at risk for, lung cancer. As the number one cancer killer, lung cancer will kill more than 160,000 Americans this year alone, causing more deaths than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney cancers and melanoma combined.

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This is a very interesting subject and one that has so many sides and issues (don't discount the insurance companies and the cost factor, which unfortunately drives alot of studies) as well as the real issue of how to handle the findings...

I still say better cautious and needless, than late stage cancer- but what do I know, right?

Dr. Jack West has some very interesting discussions on his website about this subject and I asked this question as well in our interactive chat on the 6th. You can find the chat log in the "Ask The Experts" forum. Dr. Wests informative discussions are at www.onctalk.com

I hope they come to a conclusion soon for early detection for lung cancer....in the meantime, I get my x-ray's every year and if I bat my eyes really sweetly, my Dr. will order me a CT too. LOL

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