Background: Lung cancer has high incidence and high mortality burden, particularly because it is typically diagnosed in later stages. The National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated a lung cancer–specific mortality benefit in high-risk current and former smokers with yearly low-dose chest computed tomography (CT). Lung cancer screening is thus recommended, but it is unclear whether the results of the National Lung Screening Trial can be replicated in community settings. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the lung screening program over its first 5 years, 2012 to 2016. Patients’ demographics, initial screening results, follow-up, and management results were analyzed in relation to the National Lung Screening Trial results. Annual adherence was defined as returning for imaging within 1 year + 90 days. Results: A total of 1,241 persons underwent initial screening over the 5-year period; 78.6% of findings were benign, and only annual repeat low-dose chest CT was recommended. A total of 29 cancers were identified in 26 participants (2%), of which 72% were stage I. The annual adherence rate to repeat imaging after a low-risk baseline scan was 37%, and the any follow-up rate was 51% despite programmatic efforts to follow screening recommendations. When positive findings required more intensive evaluation, most commonly by repeat chest CT scan, adherence was 88%. A total of 1.1% of all participants had invasive biopsies for benign results. Complications of biopsy were minimal. Conclusions: This review demonstrates that a community-based program can approximate the results of the National Lung Screening Trial in detecting early lung cancers. Further study of the adherence phenomenon is essential.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine