Study says many lung cancer tumors prove harmless; 'A disease we didn't need to find'

  • Article by: LINDSEY TANNER , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 9, 2013 - 3:40 PM

CHICAGO — Harmless lung cancer? A provocative study found that nearly 1 in 5 lung tumors detected on CT scans are probably so slow-growing that they would never cause problems.

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WaterBunkerDec. 9, 13 6:19 PM

I have a lung tumor. There is an 80% chance I will die soon. But, there is a 20% chance I will be ok. So, let's do nothing?

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samlmixonDec. 16, 13 7:16 PM

Please get your facts straight. 50% diagnosed will die WITHIN the first year. Only 16% diagnosed will remain alive after 5 years. My "slow growing tumor" metastasized to by brain when I was 33. Your solution to screening wouldn't have done me any good. Please don't lie to the public with inaccurate facts about the most deadly cancer in the world. When you omit certain facts, your whole article becomes a lie.

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akborondyDec. 16, 13 7:34 PM

After reading the JAMA paper, as an engineer, I am amazed it was peer reviewed and published. The assumption, that all of the additional lung cancers found by LDCT scans over those found by CXR are over diagnosis, is flawed. If that were true, there would not have been a difference in mortality between the screening arms. The NLST only did 3 screens, 1 prevalence screen followed by 2 annual incidence screens. Lung cancers found with LDCT screening were 70% Stage 1 and 2 and 30% Stage 3 and 4. The extra cancers found by LDCTarm vs CXR arm were essentially all of the early stage ones. Follow-up cancers found post screening in the LDCT screening arm reverted back to 37% early stage and 63% late stage. (The National Lung Screening Trial Research Team . N Engl J Med 2011;365:395-409). To assume that the early stage lung cancers found with LDCT screening were all over diagnosis conflicts with the 20% reduction in mortality achieved with LDCT scans. The early stage lung cancers are the most curable ones and constitute the reduction in mortality.

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