The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently approved coverage of lung cancer screenings using spiral CT imaging for long-time smokers, a decision that many feel was long overdue and will lead to thousands of lives saved through early detection.
But not everyone is enthusiastic about the decision. "It's the two-edged sword," says H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine and health policy at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. "The scans can see very early cancers, but [can also] find cancers that were never going to matter."
Welch says the new screening guidance will lead to excessive exposure to radiation due to high rates of false positive findings, as well as unnecessary invasive procedures such as biopsies, which could cause complications for otherwise healthy patients. Click the link below to read the full article from NPR: