Early detection of lung cancer: Today's approach

D. E. Midthun, J. R. Jett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chest films and sputum cytologic tests have not been found to confer a mortality benefit in randomized, controlled studies of lung cancer screening. However, the significant improvements in survival that have been reported when lung cancer is found and treated before symptoms develop suggest that early detection remains an essential strategy. Consider annual chest roentgenography and sputum cytology on a case-finding basis in individual patients at high risk for lung cancer, especially those with airway obstruction. More sensitive tools, such as molecular biologic sputum analysis, spiral CT, and auto fluorescence bronchoscopy, show promise for early lung cancer detection but are still investigational.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Respiratory Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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