Annual screening recommended for older, heavy smokers

The guidelines are pegged to a meta-analysis investigating  the benefits of low-dose CT scans, which can detect lung cancer earlier but can also have false-positive results.

US researchers conducted a systematic review, which included a trial demonstrating that among  more than 53,000 participants, low-dose CT screening resulted in a 20% reduced risk of dying from lung cancer.

The American College of Chest Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology late last month issued recommendations that smokers or former smokers with a 30 pack-year history and aged  55–74 years should be scanned annually.

Associate Professor Hubertus Jersmann, senior consultant in the department of thoracic medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital said the advice was premature and carried a risk of over-investigation.