CT Scans for Smokers In Vogue Again

Based on a review of evidence, including a large National Cancer Institute study involving more than 53,000 people with a history of smoking at least one cigarette pack daily for 30 years or two packs for 15 years, new guidelines are recommending that they receive annual low-dose CT scans of their lungs.  The advice applies only to those aged 55 to 74, which would make 8 million Americans eligible for screening but possibly prevent 4,000 lung cancer deaths per year.  The groups recommending this are the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.   Of course the cost of such venture really isn’t discussed and neither is the issue that the smoker did choose to put himself or herself in harm’s way.  This is an easy recommendation for these cancer groups but it really is an ethical dilemma.  Would it actually hinder a people from quitting smoking because they know they will be getting an annual CT scan?  Is this is the best way to spend limited resources (on smokers in their 70s who have a very small chance of quitting)?

 

15100cookie-checkCT Scans for Smokers In Vogue Again