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September 16, 1992

Screening for Lung Cancer Has No Proven Utility-Reply

Author Affiliations

National Cancer Institute Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1992;268(11):1413. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490110051024

In Reply.  —The "routine" chest roentgenogram in our patient was performed by referring physicians. The case was chosen for presentation to illustrate that distant metastases are a major threat even to patients with localized lung cancer who undergo complete surgical resection.The characteristics of a disease that is suitable for periodic health evaluation among asymptomatic subjects are well described.1 The fact that there is no highly effective treatment modality available for treating occult distant metastases hampers the effectiveness of periodic screening for lung cancer. Major studies have addressed this specific issue.2-4 We agree that at present there is no proven utility in screening for lung cancer.