The role of screening in lung cancer is as controversial today as it was in the 1980s. Large randomized controlled trials have conclusively demonstrated that chest X-rays and sputum cytology are too insensitive to make any impact on lung cancer-related mortality. Despite the impressive results of the studies using low-dose CT scan to screen for early lung cancer, there is no consensus regarding its application to the general population. The role of newer modalities like PET is yet to be elucidated. Further research to realize the potential of these powerful imaging modalities in routine public health application is necessary to efficiently, safely and reliably identify and manage early lung cancer.
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