Why is lung cancer screening important?

Lung cancer results in more deaths in the United States than any other cancer; in fact, it accounts for more deaths than breast, cervix, colon, and prostate cancer combined.

Because lung cancer has no symptoms in its early stages, more than 85% of the men and women who are diagnosed with lung cancer today are diagnosed in a late stage, after symptoms occur and when there is very little chance of cure. As a result, approximately 95% of the 173,000 people diagnosed each year die from the disease.

With early detection, 85% of lung cancer can be found in the earliest, most curable stage (Stage I).  If treated promptly, the cure rate is 92% (New England Journal of Medicine 2006: 355: 1763-1771).