Lung cancer screening’s downside not discussed enough

(HealthDay News) — The potential risks of lung cancer screening are often left out when doctors and patients discuss the issue, a new report suggests.

Early detection of lung cancer can save lives, and lung cancer screening is recommended for high-risk current and former smokers. But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other organizations say that doctors need to explain the risks as well as the benefits to patients.

Those risks include a high rate of false positives, which can lead to unnecessary follow-up procedures. And in some cases, screening can reveal lung cancer that, left untreated, would not have affected patients in their lifetime, the study authors said.

In this study, researchers analyzed 14 recordings of doctors and patients discussing lung cancer screening. On average, the talks lasted less than a minute, the quality of the conversations was poor, and discussion about the potential harms of screening was "virtually nonexistent," the investigators found.

"We’re not taking a side as to whether lung cancer screening is good or bad, but there seems to be a consensus that we should be sharing these complex decisions with patients," said study senior author Dr. Daniel Reuland.

"Our fly-on-the-wall sample from real-world practice shows us that’s not happening," he added. Reuland is director of the Carolina Cancer Screening Initiative at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill.

"A lot of people [with positive screening results] undergo surveillance, additional scanning, and some people undergo invasive procedures who don’t have lung cancer," Reuland said in a University of North Carolina news release.

"The problem is weighing a small chance of benefit in the form of prolonged life versus a larger chance that a given patient will incur some kind of physical or psychological harm, plus out-of-pocket costs. It’s important to talk about those potential harms and benefits with patients when deciding about screening," he suggested.

The findings were published Aug. 13 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends annual lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (CT) for adults 55 to 80 years old who have been heavy smokers.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on lung cancer screening.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

adwpadmin

adwpadmin

More News

STORMTRACKER 18 WEATHER
Osseo
39°
Menomonie
Chetek
39°
Durand
43°
Ladysmith
Neillsville
35°
Rice Lake
New Richmond
39°
Black River Falls
36°
Medford
32°
River Falls
43°
Duluth
37°
Green Bay
39°
La Crosse
39°
Madison
37°
Milwaukee
36°
Twin Cities
42°
Weather Outlook: Fall colors include red, orange, yellow….. and white

Weather Outlook: Fall colors include red, orange, yellow….. and white

We had a blanket of snow on some of our trees yesterday. There is chances for more in the forecast,

Connect With WQOW
Top Stories

UPDATE: 4 from Loyal, including 3 kids, killed in Apostle Island kayak incident

Sheriff Michael Brennan said Erik Fryman, 39, and his kids 3, 6 and 9-years-old died. The mom, Cari Mews, 29,

NEW: Missing Mondovi man found dead Wednesday afternoon

According to Mondovi Police Chief Colin Severson, the department is looking or Nathan D. Kummer who was reported missing by

UPDATE: Gas leak contained in Boyd

Boyd's fire chief told News 18 crews were digging up a leaking water line at Double D's Saloon and workers

Sex offender faces new charges in Eau Claire

A convicted sex offender living in Eau Claire is charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault of a

UPDATE: Middleton shooter was employee of business where he opened fire

The Middlelton Police department sent a phone message to residents about an active shooter.

Scroll to top
Skip to content