Lung Cancer Screening Saves Lives; Why Are More Patients Not Screened?

The CT Lung Cancer Screening Program at the UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging uses radiology tools to detect lung cancer in at-risk patients at its earliest stage, when the disease is potentially more treatable and curable. But first you have to get current and former heavy smokers to come in for screening—and that’s a problem, nationwide and especially in the West.

“As the National Lung Screening Trial has pointed out, lung cancer survival rates are improved when CT lung cancer screening is used,” said Brett Elicker, MD, professor of clinical radiology and chief of UCSF’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Imaging Section. But even with the improved survival rates, just 1.9 percent of current and former heavy smokers received lung cancer screening in 2016, according to research presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The authors found that just 1 percent of eligible smokers in the West received the recommended low-dose CT screening, the lowest rate of the four regions for which the results were separated.

UCSF is a pioneer in the field and is recognized as a leading center for diagnosing and treating lung cancer. Its team of experienced subspecialists includes pulmonologists, thoracic radiologists, thoracic surgeons, and oncologists who collaborate to provide the best treatment plan for patients.  CT lung cancer screening provides early detection, low-dose protocols that greatly reduce radiation exposure, and a quick and painless procedure that is proven to reduce lung cancer deaths in at-risk groups.

To earn more about UCSF’s CT Lung Cancer Screening Program, please see here

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