Jim L. Mulshine, MD of Rush University talks about the 2015 lung cancer screening data from the American Cancer Society, why its low and what has been done to increase the number. In 2015, the total number of patients screened was only 300,000 for the whole year. This is not surprising as the process is rather complicated and people are still familiarizing how to implement it correctly, efficiently and sustainably. Furthermore, people didnt see it as an opportunity and there has been problems with communication. In addition, primary care community are focused on managing high blood pressure and diabetes and they think this issue is a surgical disorder.
The harm inherent with the screening can result to potential over diagnosis. However, this problem can be managed, especially the medical radiation associated with the process. Hence, the amount of radiation has been reduced, making it quite modest and of negligible public health concern. The efforts of the thoracic surgery community has associated to lesser uplift mortality than 10 or 20 years ago. There are some emerging studies, like the randomized trials, Although results are not available, the surgical mortality across the board that stay was less than 1%, about 1/10 of 1%.
Now, people already know how to deliver these services and are more comfortable in implementing the process efficiently, making sure that people can go to places with experienced team. Dr. Mulshine concludes that this is a very significant public health triumph.