In this medical health video learn how CT scans have been recently shown to detect lung cancer early, and some hope it will decrease the number of deaths.
Anne Morrison: I had no reason to think, I had nothing wrong with me, I had no symptoms. Jennifer Matthews: But Anne Morrison wanted to be sure. She smoked for 30 years, so she was at high risk from lung cancer. Anne Morrison: If I hadn't signed up for this study, 5 years from now, I'd probably be dead now. Jennifer Matthews: A CT scan found this, a tumor in its early stages, one that a standard X-ray would have missed, and had it removed. 5 and 1/2 years later, she is Cancer free. It's a success story that has many researchers excited. Ralph Aye: This is probably the biggest breakthrough we've had in lung cancer treatment in 50 years. Jennifer Matthews: A recent annual study found annual CT scans can detect lung cancer at its earliest stages in 85% of patients. When the tumor is removed within 1 month, the 10 year survival rate is 92%. Traditionally, it has only been 15%. But critics say it's not clear whether CT scans save lives, or just detect Cancer sooner. Jason Chien: The only way to know that for certain is to have a second arm for comparison. Jennifer Matthews: In other words, the study did not have a group of patients who did not get screened. There's also concern about exposure to unnecessary radiation and who is high risk enough to have a yearly CT scan. The test may also detect non-cancerous growth and lead to risky surgeries. As the debate continues, Anne gladly lives her life and thanks to Scan for letting her. Anne Morrison: I'm very happy, I'm very grateful, I'm very lucky. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.