Since there are about 90 million smokers or former smokers in this country, the National Cancer Institute has decided to find out if early screening would save lives. So now, various sites across the country are taking part in what is being called the National Lung Screening Trial.
The study will not only look at early screening to see if it's effective, but it will also compare two different types of screening methods. The X-Ray, which is the cheaper option and the more expensive, and high-tech CT scan which can detect even smaller lesions.
"Our common sense would say if you pick up a smaller lesion earlier that you've in fact saved someone's life, but the lung is unique. All the blood in our body goes through our lungs, so if you have a small lung tumor that's malignant, even just one cell can break off and enter the blood stream and enter other parts of the body," says Gerald Abbot, a radiologist.
This study involves volunteers between the ages of 55 and 74 with no history of cancer or any symptoms of cancer. For more information, you can contact the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.