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Study: Lung cancer testing identifies at-risk patients

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Diagnostic testing, as simple as filling out a short questionnaire, may identify patients who are at risk for lung cancer, research suggests.

A study published in the November issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology examined 1,000 people in Colorado who were visiting a primary care physician for general health issues, HealthDay News reports. The patients were asked to complete a five-minute survey that asked questions about smoking habits, a family history of lung disease, exposure to chemicals and other lung cancer risk factors.

Researchers determined that 430 patients were classified as having a high risk for lung cancer. Of this group, 126 later took a breath measurement test called a spirometry, and 88 underwent full lung cancer testing.

Five years later, lung cancer was confirmed in 18 of the patients initially considered to be at risk.

"Simple by design, our initiative received widespread community support from physicians, patients and hospitals," lead researcher Dr Thomas Petty told the news source. "By providing the guidelines for pointed questions when patients are face-to-face with physicians, we can begin to identify those at risk."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die from lung cancer in the U.S. than any other type of cancer.
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