Lung cancer is one of the major health problems in US. If detected early then it can be completely cured. Computed tomography (CT) scan identifies lung cancer at the early stage.
According to the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program Investigators detection of lung cancer in early stage facilitates an increased survival rate. The size of the tumor is useful in predicting the stage and the spread of the cancer.
The researchers tell that the CT scan is a very useful diagnostic tool. Dr. Claudia I. Henschke, from Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, and her colleagues conducted a study on nearly 29,000 people from 1993 to 2004.
All of them underwent a CT scan. The results were that a total of 464 cases of lung cancer were diagnosed. Among the lung cancer identified 436 were non-small cell lung cancers and 28 were small cell lung cancer.
The researchers said that if non-small cell cancers were detected early then there is increased chances of complete cure using surgery. In case of small cell cancers the treatment is usually with chemotherapy.
The results also showed that 91% of the non-small cell cancers did not spread and the size of the tumor in the patients was 15 millimeters or smaller in diameter. On the other when the tumor size increased to 36 millimeters or greater there is metastasis in about 55% of the cases.
The small cell cancers appeared as solid nodules and 67% o the tumors were 25 millimeters or smaller showing no metastasis and 33% were larger tumors showing metastasis. The researcher says that most of the lung cancer, which has not spread into the lymph node, is curable.
The curability rate is higher when the tumor size is smaller. Hence this research is of great importance in the treatment of lung cancer.