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Screening for lung cancer would cost billions, Study Finds
Screening for lung cancer would cost billions, Study Finds

Screening for lung cancer would cost billions, Study Finds

New requirements that Medicare start paying for lung cancer screening for heavy smokers will probably raise costs by about $3 a month for everybody enrolled in the program, researchers projected in a new study.

The new analysis seeks to put a price tag on a program that cancer experts say could save lives by catching lung cancer at a stage when it would still be treatable. Studies have only recently shown that new low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans can accurately detect early stage lung cancer.

Lung cancer is among the biggest killers in United States and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data are a cause of worry for the nation. It says that in the year 2010 alone as many as 201,144 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer, including 107,164 men and 93,980 women.

It kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. In 2010 according to a CDC report 158,248 people in the United States died from lung cancer, including 87,698 men and 70,550 women.

Meanwhile reports suggest that not just treatment, even detection of the lung cancer is going to cost as much as $9.5 billion over the next five year alone for Medicare population.

A latest report suggests that people of around 65 years of age or older who will be prescribed tests due to its availability under the Medicare. This in turn will see a twofold jump the proportion of lung cancers caught at a localized stage. The latest study conducted by Joshua A. Roth, PhD, MHA, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will see a significant drop in late-stage lung cancer diagnoses as the cancer is detected at early stage when the disease is more treatable.

The study was announced at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The study says that the early detection of the lung cancer will see s significant drop in late-stage lung cancer diagnoses when the cancer becomes unstoppable and there is very little or no chance to treat it. Joshua says, “It may be true that lung cancer screening will increase the cost of care, especially in the short term…The primary issue is about saving lives. The goal of our healthcare should be to enhance our life and increase our longevity. Its goal should not be to save money.”

Agencies/Canadajournal




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