US medical experts recommend tomography for cancer checks

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Lung cancer screening using the photonics technology low-dose computed tomography has been recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans can be used for smokers to both detect suspicious lung nodules and determine which nodules are growing at a rate consistent with the behavior of an aggressive lung cancer. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an independent panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services, such as screening, counselling, and preventive medications, and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems.

In its 30 July announcement recommending CT, the USPSTF said: ‘Based on the available evidence, the Task Force recommends screening people who are at high risk for lung cancer with annual low-dose CT scans, which can prevent a substantial number of lung cancer-related deaths.’

After reviewing the evidence, the Task Force decided that by screening people who are 55 to 80 years old and have smoked more than one pack a day for 30 years can be effective in saving lives.

In response to this recommendation, Emily Pappas, the spokesperson of the National Photonics Initiative, a US group of companies and academics advocating investment in photonics research, said: ‘On behalf of the National Photonics Initiative, I applaud the US Preventive Services Task Force for recommending that patients at high-risk for lung cancer receive low-dose computed tomography scans for early detection of malignancy.’