National

Apr 19, 2010 5:13 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Lung scans can lead to high false alarms

A new study suggests that checking smokers for cancer with lung scans can lead to a lot of false alarms and unneeded follow-up tests.

Government researchers say anyone considering screening with a CT scan or X-rays should take into account the high risk of false alarms. If there's something suspicious, more testing and biopsies may be needed to find out if it really is cancer.

No doctor groups recommend smokers be routinely scanned for lung cancer. But many people get the tests done even though there's no evidence yet that screening saves lives.

The study's findings are published in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine.

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