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August 7, 1981

Detection of Lung Cancer-Reply

Author Affiliations

Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn

JAMA. 1981;246(6):621-622. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320060025009

In Reply.—  The editorial cited by Dr Eddy was provoked by the February 1980 ACS report on "The Cancer-Related Health Checkup."1 That report, prepared for the ACS by Dr Eddy, emphasized that its recommendations pertained only to early detection of cancer on an individual basis and not to "mass screening programs at public expense."1Our editorial comment was likewise confined to individual case-finding initiated by patients.2 We are on record as being opposed to noncontrolled large-scale screening programs initiated by any organization. Our concern is that Dr Eddy seems to use "screening" and "early detection" interchangeably.In his letter he writes: the ACS is aware that x-ray films can detect cancers in asymptomatic persons and that the cancers often appear to be detected in early stages. The Society is also aware, however, of the many biases that can cause an interpretation of staging information and case-survival rates