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New Study Shows CT Scans Can Save Smokers’ Lives

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that CT scans can save the lives of heavy smokers.

The study of 54,000 current or former heavy smokers showed that those screened for lung cancer with a CT scan had a 20-percent reduction in deaths from lung cancer compared to the group receiving chest x-rays. Dr. Walter Scott, Chief of Thoracic Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, says the scans found nodules earlier so follow up care started sooner.

“It’s exciting, because lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in America and increasingly, in the world, and while smoking rates are going down here, they’re going up in most other parts of the world,” says Dr. Scott.

He admits most of the nodules found with the scans were not cancerous, but follow up care was needed to determine that, and insurance companies won’t pay for these screenings.

Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio

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  • bottomline

    So we find more nodules of all kinds, which can be investigated.
    Isn’t it possible the radiation from the CT scan is going to cause more cancer then the cigarette smoking. Keep in mind, it is known, cancer from tobacco smoking has been triggered by exposure to atomic radiation e.g. atomic bombs and atomic energy testing. The deceptive element is it takes 30+ years for the cancer to develop, this includes radiation from CT’s. Today’s CT’s could be tomorrows cancer.
    And the costs of these nodule investigation isn’t covered by medical insurance either. Just how many “maybe” investigations should be covered by the medical insurers.
    I think this article should be classified as junk science, or maybe, good business.

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