Limits of Lung Cancer Screening Today
The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography (also called a low-dose CT scan, or LDCT). In this test, an X-ray machine scans the body and uses low doses of radiation to make detailed pictures of the lungs. Due to high false positive results and the great expense and limited availability of CT scans, the CDC only recommends lung cancer screening for the highest risk adults, those who have been smoking at least a pack a day for over 30 years. The result is often the delay of diagnosis until the cancer reaches later stages, when response to therapy and survival are both lower.