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May 14, 2003

Cost-effectiveness of Screening for Lung CancerCost-effectiveness of Screening for Lung Cancer

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(18):2357. doi:10.1001/jama.289.18.2357-a

To the Editor: Dr Mahadevia and colleagues1 concluded that it is probably not cost-effective to use helical CT to screen for lung cancer. This conclusion is based on hypothetical models with many assumptions. Given the high costs of treating lung cancer,2 I have argued that screening, or at least case finding, should take place in patients at highest risk, ie, smokers with airflow obstruction.3 It has been reported that the presence of airflow obstruction increases the likelihood of lung cancer by 4- to 6-fold with all other factors being equal.4

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