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Risk calculator boosts odds of finding lung cancer

Published on Sep 5, 2013 5:52 AM
 
Cigarettes are displayed on a table on July 17, 2013 in Lille. A new software tool may help doctors eliminate mistakes when judging whether a spot that turns up on a smoker's lung scan is cancerous or not, researchers said on Wednesday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AFP) - A new software tool may help doctors eliminate mistakes when judging whether a spot that turns up on a smoker's lung scan is cancerous or not, researchers said on Wednesday.

The clinical risk assessment method described in the New England Journal of Medicine helped correctly decide nine times out of 10 whether a spot or lesion was benign or malignant.

Computed tomography (CT) scans can save lives, but they are imperfect and can also lead to unnecessary surgery as much as 25 per cent of the time, research has shown.

"Now, we have evidence that our model and risk calculator can accurately predict which abnormalities that show up on a first CT require further follow up, such as a repeat CT scan, a biopsy, or surgery, and which ones do not," said co-principal investigator Stephen Lam.

 
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