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Risks of lung cancer screenings

Arizona residents may be interested in how some physicians have become more hesitant to screen smokers for lung cancer. A study published in 2011 revealed that spiral CT scans may have the ability to help lower the rate of lung cancer fatalities by 20 percent. As of February 2015, smokers aged 55 to 77 who averaged a pack a day for at least three decades may be qualified to receive an annual screening test for lung cancer, free of charge.

The CT spiral screenings may help save thousands of lives every year. Over 150,000 people are killed by lung cancer annually -- more than colon, prostate and breast cancer all combined. The scans have enabled physicians to detect potential risks during the preliminary phase and before the cancers mature and begin affecting the body. The scans are even powerful enough to detect low-level threats that may never develop into cancer.

Approximately 25 percent of the screenings found traces of an abnormal growth in the lung that did not turn into cancer. However, false-positive tests may result in the patient being exposed to risks from undergoing needless biopsies or other invasive procedures. The potential for false alarms and excessive testing may be harmful to certain types of patients. Some physicians believe that these CT scans may be less effective in a real-world setting than the results reported from the study.

Patients who have suffered injuries due to medical errors may benefit from consulting with legal counsel. An attorney may investigate the complaint and determine which parties can be held liable for the ensuing damages. A Plaintiff may receive restitution that helps compensate for medical costs, corrective procedures and other hardships that are related to a failure to diagnose or medical negligence.

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