News Stories

Test for Lung Cancer: Will People Take It?

We've recently written about the tragedy of nonsmokers getting lung cancer. Women are more vulnerable to this. If there was a simple, inexpensive, painless test for lung cancer that could be taken early, before symptoms show up, would we take it? Or would it be like it can be with the AIDS test and mammograms--people don't want to know?

There IS a test for the world?s deadliest cancer that can catch the disease when the tumors are smaller than a pea. If you've ever smoked, or been exposed to secondhand smoke, you may want to take it. However, doctors are waging an uphill battle to get nervous current and former smokers to get this special kind of X-ray test, even though it costs as little as $300.

"The concern that we'll have is false positive rates, which range from 25% to as high as 60%," says The American Cancer Society's Tom Glynn. And even when cancers are detected early, some of them are so slow-growing that they pose less of a health threat than the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy used to treat them.

In contrast, some people are so enthusiastic about testing, they are getting whole body CT (CAT) scans, which many doctors don't recommend. Besides being expensive, they expose the body to a great deal of radiation.

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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