Low-dose CT (LDCT) for lung cancer screening was associated with a reduction in lung cancer mortality, according to a meta-analysis of nine international randomized controlled trials presented at the virtual World Conference on Lung Cancer.
In this exclusive MedPage Today video, Paul Wheatley-Price, BSc, MBChB, MD, of the University of Ottawa in Canada, suggests that the findings are in line with what we already know about lung cancer screening, and discusses why he believes implementation is so slow.
Following is a transcript of his remarks:
I think there’s a few issues around this and one of them, which I hate to bring up but we seem to all the time about lung cancer, is stigma. And there is still stigma around lung cancer. And you can imagine that if this was a breast cancer issue, we wouldn’t be having an implementation discussion.
And yet from my understanding, the number of people you need to screen in lung cancer to save a life is fewer than the number of women that would need a mammogram to save a breast cancer life. And yet we’re not having that discussion. So whether there’s some sort of political pressure, which brings in stigma as a point, I think would be helpful.
The other issue around cost-effectiveness, I guess, is complicated. I believe there are some studies now, which do show us cost-effectiveness of lung cancer screening, but it depends a bit on the jurisdiction and how healthcare is delivered.
Education, of course, is going to be the key in it. And at Lung Cancer Canada, we’re working with the Royal College of Family Physicians here in Canada and the different provinces to try and develop educational programs. So, for the family physicians and these groups that come in and say, “well, let’s do a 1-day seminar,” no, no, no. Family doctors won’t come to a 1-day seminar on lung cancer screening.
How about a 15-minute program just to show them where to refer and who they need to refer. And family docs are good at this, aren’t they? They’re good at colorectal cancer screening, pap smears, mammograms. They’re good at this, we just need to educate them. So I think there’s a lot that’s going on. We’re sort of at the tipping point in some of our countries where it’s kind of coming and we just got to push it on. But then we’re going to have to address countries where the rates of lung cancer are higher, and maybe don’t have the resources.