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Screening for those not currently eligible


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I read this article with great interest.  I'm a big fan of lung cancer screening, since it was what caught mine and led to early diagnosis and surgery (hopefully curing the cancer).  The thing about screening, though, is that you have to meet the age/smoking history criteria to get it.  I do get why screening isn't appropriate for everyone, and it makes sense to limit it to people at risk, but it would be great to have a way to identify more people at risk.  This is about a study that looked at blood tests to identify markers indicating an elevated risk of lung cancer, and screening those who tested positive.  As a result, the screening identified TWICE as many lung cancers as screening based on duration of smoking history alone.  https://www.curetoday.com/articles/blood-test-may-identify-candidates-for-early-lung-cancer-screening

Apparently it requires further study, but it sure sounds promising to me!

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  • 1 month later...

I think screening should also be available to children of lung cancer patients. My husband's cancer was found accidentally but not before it had metastasized to his lymph nodes and adrenal gland, stage IV NSCLC. And he is a nonsmoker since 1974.

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My understanding is that there's not enough known about hereditary lung cancers to know which people are at risk.  Most lung cancers, even in non-smokers, are the result of either other risk factors or random mutations.  There IS some risk that comes from the screening, which is why it isn't offered to everyone.  So without some indicator, like those blood tests or smoking history or other exposure to known causes of lung cancer, to show you are at risk, the screening might harm more people than are saved.  

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