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Does lung cancer screening by CT pick up more curable cancer?

Recent advances in CT scanning have made the possibility of lung CT screening more practicable. (64-row scanners can create an image of the whole thorax with a slicew thickness of 0.625 mm in less than three seconds). Several definitive trials of the usefulness of screening by such technology are under way, but the evidence to date (reviewed in a recent New England Journal of Medicine: vol 352: 2714-20)suggests that, for heavier smokers, such screeening may well pick up cancer of the lung at an earlier (hence operable and curable) stage than such patients would have previously been diagnosed. Whether large scale CT screening is a cost effective exercise is a far more contreveresial topic and it must be said here that the American Cancer Society and others have not (yet) endorsed this new screening method.