Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is one of the most common and lethal forms of cancer known. Most patients with this disease seek medical attention when the cancer has already spread to lymph nodes or distant organs. As a result long term survival is rare. However, when lung cancer is diagnosed at an early stage surgery can be curative.
The past fifteen years have witnessed a change of paradigm. Until recently, lung cancer screening was not recommended, because studies using conventional chest x rays as a screening tool showed no benefit. However, low dose computed tomography or LDCT has been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality when used as a screening tool in high risk patients. Screening detected lung cancer can be cured in as many as 90% of individuals. A recent study demonstrated that a 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality attributable to screening is possible. For this reason, medical societies worldwide, including the spanish thoracic society (SEPAR) and Neumomadrid have begun to recommend lung cancer screening for a selected group of smokers or exsmokers in specialized centers such as ours.
Quironsalud has implemented a lung cancer screening program in some of its leading academic hospitals in order to achieve early diagnosis of lung cancer and reduce lung cancer mortality. The program targets smokers with altered lung function and/or emphysema who are at very high risk of developing and dying from lung cancer.
Subjects aged 55 to 75 with a cumulative tobacco exposure of 30 pack-years are elligible to participate. Former smokers are also elligible as long as they quit smoking within the past fifteen years.