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ELCC 2017: Gender Approach to Lung Cancer Screening

Men may need more frequent lung cancer screening than women, according to a study presented by Mi-Young Kim, MD, PhD, of Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea, and colleagues at the recent European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC). Their findings suggest the annual follow-up interval for computed tomography (CT) may be too frequent for women, and scans every 2 to 3 years might be sufficient.

“By reducing the number of unnecessary CT scans, we can decrease radiation exposure and increase cost-effectiveness,” revealed Dr. Kim. However, the investigators noted, the benefits, harms, and feasibility of gender-based lung cancer screening policies should be compared with those of current recommendations.

The retrospective study investigated gender differences in newly developed lung cancer as well as the optimal CT screening intervals for women and men. The study included 96 patients (85 men, 11 women) who were diagnosed from subsequent CT scans.

The average time between lung cancer being diagnosed on CT and the previous CT scan was significantly longer in women than in men (5.6 vs 3.6 years). However, the lung cancer stage at diagnosis was higher in men, with 82% of lung cancers diagnosed at stage I in women compared with 49% in men.