Published online Aug 28, 2015. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v7.i8.189
Peer-review started: April 4, 2015
First decision: April 27, 2015
Revised: April 29, 2015
Accepted: May 27, 2015
Article in press: May 28, 2015
Published online: August 28, 2015
Worldwide, lung cancer is the leading cause of mortality due to malignancy. The vast majority of cases of lung cancer are smoking related and the most effective way of reducing lung cancer incidence and mortality is by smoking cessation. In the Western world, smoking cessation policies have met with limited success. The other major means of reducing lung cancer deaths is to diagnose cases at an earlier more treatable stage employing screening programmes using chest radiographs or low dose computed tomography. In many countries smoking is still on the increase, and the sheer scale of the problem limits the affordability of such screening programmes. This short review article will evaluate the current evidence and potential areas of research which may benefit policy making across the world.
Core tip: The use of low dose computed tomography (CT) for lung cancer screening is superior to the use of standard chest radiograph (CXR), and therefore standard CXR should not be used for this purpose. However, the application of novel computer assisted diagnosis software may influence the utility of CXR and may ultimately be a cost-efficient method in those countries where delivery of low-dose CT is not feasible due to infrastructure or costs constraints.