Lung Cancer Screening

Bronwyn Schar


Lung cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Its overall poor prognosis is attributable to the fact that most patients
remain asymptomatic until the disease is advanced and, therefore, present with late-stage incurable disease. e rationale for LC screening
is that early detection of asymptomatic disease oers the opportunity for earlier intervention, at a stage when denitive cure is still feasible,
which has the potential to reduce LC-related mortality and morbidity. e ndings of the National Lung Screening Trial provided the rst
strong evidence in support of this rationale. Since its publication, several professional organisations and societies have developed guidelines
recommending the implementation of LC screening with low-dose computed tomography in asymptomatic, high-risk individuals. Although
the benets of such screening programmes may be signicant, they must be carefully weighed against the potential harms to the relatively large
number of healthy individuals who would undergo screening. is review examines the available evidence and current recommendations for
LC screening, including benets, potentials harms and requirements for implementation of a high-quality, safe and eective programme. In
addition, the costs and availability of LC screening programmes in both the global and local settings are considered.

Author's affiliations

Bronwyn Schar, Pulmonologist, Mediclinic Midstream, Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa

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Lung cancer

Cite this article

African Journal of Thoracic and Critical Care Medicine 2015;21(4):101-107. DOI:10.7196/SARJ.2015.v21i4.37

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-11-05
Date published: 2015-12-04

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