20-second CT scan cuts lung cancer deaths, but is it right for you?
High-risk current and former smokers may benefit. Before having your scan, carefully consider the pros and cons.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. More than 160,000 people will die from it in 2012, more than all deaths from cancer of the colon, prostate, and breast.
A recent clinical trial has shown that, for certain current or former smokers, being checked with a CT scan can reduce lung cancer's deadly toll. "Early stage lung cancer that might be cured with surgery can now be identified," says Dr. Michael T. Jaklitsch, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.