(HealthDay News) — The preliminary rate of lung cancer diagnosis using low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening is 7% at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 17 to 22 in Philadelphia.

Sue H. Yoon, N.P., from VA Boston HealthCare, and colleagues enrolled 56 patients with either a history of more than 30 pack-years or 20 pack-years with one additional risk factor (median age, 61 to 65 years) to describe the screening experience at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The researchers found that more than 80% of participants had more than a 30 pack-year history, half of whom were current smokers. Only three patients had no nodules, while 60% had more than one nodule and 55% (31 patients) had a nodule of 4 mm or larger or other abnormal opacity. For six of these 31 patients, the nodule was deemed suspicious for malignancy based on size and morphological characteristics. Biopsy-proven lung cancer was diagnosed in four patients (7%) and included one case each of stage 1A adenocarcinoma, stage 1B adenocarcinoma, stage 3A adenocarcinoma, and stage 3B squamous cell carcinoma.

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“Our preliminary rate of lung cancer diagnosis after the first round of screening was 7%, which was significantly higher than the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial group, which had a preliminary rate of 3.8% at its first round,” Yoon said in a statement.

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