Lung Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases all around the world. No country has been spared from its effect. One of the main problems that occur with lung cancer is that it is detected at a later stage which makes it difficult to cure. Lung Cancer Symptoms are difficult to spot. Now, Australian researchers say that they are capable of predicting which smokers and ex-smokers are likely to get lung cancer. According to them, a simple algorithm can predict the likelihood of lung cancer and can revolutionise screening and help saves many lives.
The lead researcher Dr Marianne Weber said, “We showed that it was able to identify around 70 per cent of lung cancers that occurred among those people within six years.” “Smoking is the primary factor that puts people at risk for lung cancer: 80 per cent of lung cancers are in people who were smokers. But screening everyone who has ever smoked a cigarette is not feasible and would potentially cause unnecessary testing, costs, and psychological distress,” Dr. Weber added.
Over 100,000 smokers and ex-smokers took part in the study over a six-year period. She said that in seven cases out of ten, their prediction was correct. Researchers have used PLCOM2012 prediction tool and found they were able to reliably predict lung cancer diagnoses. It is a US-developed tool and was used in this study by Cancer Council NSW. The study is published in the International Journal of Cancer. A lot of research still needs to be done before such a tool could be rolled-out in clinics.
The study examined the performance to tool among patients aging 55-74. This is the most likely age range to be targeted for screening. The best way to prevent lung cancer has always been to quit smoking.
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