'Spiral' CT Scans Can Cut Lung Cancer Deaths - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Spiral' CT Scans Can Cut Lung Cancer Deaths

WASHINGTON - "Spiral" CT scans cut lung cancer deaths in smokers by 20 percent, researchers reported Thursday in a finding that validates a controversial theory that screening can save lives.

The low-dose scans, a type of X-ray that gives a more complete picture of the lung, apparently catch tumors early, before they have spread, a team sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute found.

The trial of more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers found the CT scans were better than an ordinary chest X-ray at spotting tumors.

Critics of the scans fear that smokers may not be motivated to quit if they believe screening can save their lives if they do get cancer.

The middle-aged and elderly smokers were scanned with either three spiral CTs a year or one annual chest X-ray starting in August 2002. They were followed for five years.

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