Lung cancer: towards generalized screening in at-risk persons?

In France, 33,000 people die of lung cancer every year. This alarming figure could be lower if the disease is detected at an early stage. Faced with this reality, the Haute Autorité de Santé has shared its desire to experiment with regular preventive scans in smokers.

Lung cancer is the deadliest in France. As a reminder, smoking increases the risk of disease by at least 10 to 15 compared to a non-smoker or a non-smoker. Although it decreases when you stop smoking, it still remains very high. Hence the importance of detecting cancerous tumors in at-risk patients as early as possible.

This Wednesday, February 2, the High Authority of Health (HAS) issued an opinion “welcoming to launch the commitment to a pilot program now”. In other words, it is a matter of experimenting with generalized screening for lung cancer in at-risk individuals (adherents and ex-cigarette worshippers or persons exposed to secondhand smoke) by regularly performing irradiated chest scans. A strategy that is already in effect in the United States.

This regular and widespread screening is all the more important as lung cancer “evolves asymptomatically for a very long time”as explained by Sébastien Couraud, head of the pulmonology department at the CHU de Lyon in France info. This measure is welcomed by pulmonologists because let’s not forget that the more cancers detected in the early stages, the less a person’s vital prognosis.

“Analysis of the newly available data shows that low-dose CT screening in people with high tobacco exposure leads to a reduction in specific mortality. »

The High Authority for Health, in its press release.

If confirmed, this prevention program will be tested by the National Cancer Institute (INCa). The benefits of this screening may be in the range of: “5 lives saved for every 1,000 people screened”.

After cancers of the breast, cervix or colon, lung cancer could therefore be the next systematic screening in patients at risk.

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