Overdiagnosis in Low-Dose Computed Tomography Screening for Lung Cancer

JAMA: December 09, 2013

Importance  Screening for lung cancer has the potential to reduce mortality, but in addition to detecting aggressive tumors, screening will also detect indolent tumors that otherwise may not cause clinical symptoms. These overdiagnosis cases represent an important potential harm of screening because they incur additional cost, anxiety, and morbidity associated with cancer treatment.

Objective  To estimate overdiagnosis in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST).

Design, Setting, and Participants  We used data from the NLST, a randomized trial comparing screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) vs chest radiography (CXR) among 53 452 persons at high risk for lung cancer observed for 6.4 years, to estimate the excess number of lung cancers in the LDCT arm of the NLST compared with the CXR arm. Read More