Current smokers or those who have been smoking in the past have been recommended to take up a screening program based on computed tomography (CT scan) to detect lung cancer if any, at an early stage. This would enable provision of an effective treatment and thereby improve the prognosis.
The need for the screening is further stressed in individuals with a family history of the dreadful disease. For those of you who have still taken smoking very lightly, we hope at least an article published by the American Thoracic Society would warn you regarding the probable dangers. Nearly 85 to 95% of all lung cancers can be attributed to smoking alone.
Even though there has been a considerable decrease in the incidence of lung cancer in the US over the recent years, further efforts are needed to intensify the fight against lung cancer. This cannot be possible without effective implementation of public and personal health smoking cessation efforts.
It has been found that individuals with a family history of lung cancer have a 2 to 3 fold increased chances of developing lung cancer. Another study that examined the genetic predisposition to lung cancer among 26,000 patients, documented a 14% incidence of lung cancer in individuals with a first degree relative, diagnosed with lung cancer.
"Because cigarette smoking is such an overwhelming risk factor and preventable, the importance of family history and genetic susceptibility to lung cancer risk has been overlooked. Although evidence pointing to a gene for lung cancer is substantial, the problems associated with the conduct of a linkage study in lung cancer are even greater," "The average age of lung cancer diagnosis is 70 years and 5-year survival after diagnosis continues to be poor, at 15 percent, so affected family members are typically deceased, as are their parents, siblings and spouses," said Dr. Ann G. Schwartz, of the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan.
"While debate continues about the efficacy of spiral computed tomography screening for lung cancer in broad population of smokers, the ability to focus screening efforts in a truly high-risk subpopulation would clearly be of benefit now," she concluded.