A study published in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology determined several predictors of a positive lung cancer diagnosis after having an abnormal chest x-ray.
Dr. Martin Carl Tammemagi of Brock University in Ontario and his team of US researchers examined the chest radiographs of 12,314 individuals obtained through the National Cancer Institute's Prostate Lung Colorectal Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). They found that older age, lower education levels and a longer smoking history were all associated with a "true positive" diagnosis for lung cancer in those individuals with an abnormal screening chest radiograph.
AdvertisementA "true positive" radiograph represents an accurate reading for lung cancer. Other factors that contributed to a "true positive" diagnosis include a family history of lung cancer and a suspicious mass in the upper/middle chest region.
"The factors will be particularly valuable to those health care providers and clinicians identifying patients with abnormal chest x-rays that might indicate possible lung cancer" says Dr. Tammemagi.
"An earlier diagnosis is expected to lead to a more favorable outcome for the patient, so it is our hope that predictors will assist clinicians in calling for the most necessary and timely tests."