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October 18, 2000

Routine Screening for Lung Cancer?Maybe Someday, but Not Yet

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Tri-County Family Medicine, Cohocton, NY, and University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY.


Controversies Section Editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Executive Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(15):1980-1983. doi:10.1001/jama.284.15.1980

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and accounts for 28% of all cancer deaths in the United States.1 It is largely a preventable disease. In the United States, more than 90% of lung cancer cases are related to cigarette smoking. Treatment of lung cancer is not very effective and has changed little in the past 40 years. Surgical resection of localized tumors is the only potentially curative treatment, and many tumors are not resectable at the time of diagnosis. Overall current 5-year survival rates are 8% to 14% for whites and 5% to 11% for blacks.2