ANN ARBOR, MI – For smokers and former smokers, the threat of lung cancer always lurks in the shadows.
To flush it out of the darkness, some decide to get their lungs scanned by a CT machine, which can find a tumor early enough to stop it – or set off a false alarm that turns out to be nothing.
Others may avoid the scans, or don’t know they should have one, even though they are the type of person who has the most to gain from screening, according to official recommendations in effect for the last five years.
Now, a new study shows how to personalize the lung cancer screening decision for every patient. The results could help doctors fine-tune their advice to patients, so that it’s based not just on a patient’s individual lung cancer risk and the potential benefits and harms of screening, but also a likely range of patient attitudes about looking for problems and dealing with the consequences.
Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the study forms the backbone for new free online decision tools aimed at physicians and their teams, and at members of the public.
The tool for clinicians, called Lung
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