Lung Cancer Screening’s Downside Not Discussed Enough

Yes, the idea of potentially having lung cancer is a terrifying thought. However, a new report suggests that the potential risks of lung cancer screenings are often left out when doctors and patients discuss the issue.

What are these potential risks and why would my doctor omit them from me?

Early detection of lung cancer can save lives, and lung cancer screening is recommended for high-risk current and former smokers. But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other organizations say that doctors need to explain the risks as well as the benefits to patients.

Those risks include a high rate of false positives, which can lead to unnecessary follow-up procedures. And in some cases, screening can reveal lung cancer that, left untreated, would not have affected patients in their lifetime, the study authors said.

In this study, researchers analyzed 14 recordings of