Only 19% of current smokers say they
would quit smoking if a computed tomography (CT) scan to detect lung cancer was
negative, but 91% say they would want smoking cessation counseling. These
findings are part of a Fox Chase Cancer Center study that measured attitudes and
beliefs about the uses of spiral CT for early detection of lung cancer among a
high-risk population. The study was presented at a recent meeting of the
American Society of Preventative Oncology held in Bethesda, Md.
The research measured outcomes that included awareness of
spiral CT scan for early lung cancer detection, participants’ interest in and
likelihood of undergoing a CT scan, and the expected effects of screening
results on changing participants’ subsequent behavior.
"Studies on the clinical effectiveness of the use of a
spiral CT scan for the early detection of lung cancer are ongoing, and
behavioral studies concerning spiral CT are necessary to help guide the design
of interventions that would be needed if CT screening becomes a
realization," said Robert A. Schnoll, PhD, associate member of Fox Chase
Cancer Center’s population science division and principal investigator of the
Current and Former Smokers Surveyed
A group of 172 individuals at high risk of developing lung
cancercurrent or former smokers with no personal history of cancerwere
asked if they had ever heard of spiral CT for lung cancer screening and were
given current information about the use of CT for lung cancer screening. They
were then asked to complete a brief survey.
The surveys showed that 77% of the respondents were unaware
that spiral CT is a potential lung cancer screening method. After receiving
information about the procedure, 43% of respondents expressed high interest in
receiving a CT scan, and 35% said they intended to seek a screening.
Respondents with a family history of lung cancer who reported
lung cancer-related symptoms and exhibited greater self-confidence about
screening had greater interest in CT screening. In addition, current smokers
with lung cancer symptoms who were aware that lung cancer forms before symptoms
develop demonstrated a greater intent to pursue CT screening. Greater intent to
pursue screening was also related to self-confidence about screening and