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Health Agencies Update
September 20, 2000

Lung Cancer: To Screen or Not?

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JAMA. 2000;284(11):1371. doi:10.1001/jama.284.11.1371-JHA00009-3-1

Screening for lung cancer using chest radiographs does not save lives and detects a substantial number of tumors that do not result in illness or death, according to a new study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000;92:1308-1316).

The work is a follow-up of the Mayo Lung Project, which studied 9211 male smokers who were screened either annually or three times a year with a chest radiograph and sputum cytology. Although mortality rates were the same in both groups, critics of the study said that the patients had not been followed up long enough for differences to emerge.

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