Can The Scan?

Early cancer testing is always a good idea, but it might not be a lifesaver. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that CT scans to detect lung cancers may not result in fewer deaths. Using statistical models, the authors calculated that when small lesions were diagnosed in patients, they ended up with the same mortality rate as those not screened. It turns out that the scans could pick up growths that do not progress into deadly cancer. However, another study, published last fall, found that screening shrinks death rates. The definitive trial, by the National...

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