Early detection of lung cancer

David E. Midthun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Most patients with lung cancer are diagnosed when they present with symptoms, they have advanced stage disease, and curative treatment is no longer an option. An effective screening test has long been desired for early detection with the goal of reducing mortality from lung cancer. Sputum cytology, chest radiography, and computed tomography (CT) scan have been studied as potential screening tests. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) demonstrated a 20% reduction in mortality with low-dose CT (LDCT) screening, and guidelines now endorse annual LDCT for those at high risk. Implementation of screening is underway with the desire that the benefits be seen in clinical practice outside of a research study format. Concerns include management of false positives, cost, incidental findings, radiation exposure, and overdiagnosis. Studies continue to evaluate LDCT screening and use of biomarkers in risk assessment and diagnosis in attempt to further improve outcomes for patients with lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number739
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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