#LCSM Chat Topic 10/18/2018: Lung Cancer Screening: Never a Better Time Than Now

IMG_6380After last month’s World Conference on Lung Cancer (#WCLC2018) meeting in Toronto, lung cancer screening finds itself back in the spotlight. At #WCLC2018, which was hosted by @IASLC, investigators reported the long-awaited results of the NELSON trial, a study of computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening performed in Europe.

Although it had been speculated that NELSON might show no benefit to screening for lung cancer with low dose CT scans, the results were instead strongly positive. Overall, compared to standard care, CT screening reduced lung cancer mortality by about 26% in men and by 39-61% in women after 8-10 years of follow-up. Assuming that these compelling results hold up in a peer-reviewed publication, NELSON will add more data to what has already been reported by the NLST investigators conclusively demonstrating that CT screening for lung cancer saves lives. Arguably, this data for mortality reduction with lung cancer screening is stronger than data for any other cancer type, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Nevertheless (and although CT screening is already approved by CMS in the United States), it has been estimated that less than 10% of eligible patients are actually being screened. This is markedly less than the percentage of eligible patients screened for other common cancers. The challenge therefore now falls on hospital systems, physicians, and lung cancer advocates to increase the rates of screening throughout the world. Patient’s lives depend upon it. With that in mind, the #LCSM chat moderators believe that now is the perfect time to readdress lung cancer screening.

Please join moderator Brendon Stiles, MD on Thursday, October 18th at 8PM ET for this important discussion. We will cover the following topics:

T1. What is important about the NELSON trial findings?

T2. Who should be screened for lung cancer and how can a patient find a screening center?

T3. How can we increase screening rates of eligible patients?

T4. Are there harms to lung cancer screening? How can harms be avoided?

T5. What happens if a nodule is found during a lung cancer screening test?

If you’re new to tweetchats, please read this primer, and join the conversation!

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