German medical societies, including the German Radiological Society (DRG), recently presented key points highlighting the potential of a national lung screening program for earlier detection of lung cancer via low-dose CT.
The DRG, along with the German Society of Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) and the German Society of Thoracic Surgery (DGT), has drawn up recommendations that aim to aid the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) as it draws up necessary guidelines. The societies wrote that while low participation rates and high rates of overdiagnosis or false-positive findings could threaten early detection goals, having clear structural guidelines in place can avoid these pitfalls.
Among the points brought up in the paper include the programme being aimed toward people between the ages of 50 and 75 who have been smoking for at least 25 years or who quit smoking less than 10 years ago. The societies wrote that screening should also be made possible for those affected with at least 15 pack years. This applies to around 3.3 million men and about 2.2 million women in Germany, the experts wrote.
They also wrote that early lung cancer detection is only possible through an interdisciplinary team and that preventive care reduces healthcare costs.