Of 1,500 former or current smokers, one in three tested positive for lung abnormalities when screened for lung cancer using low-dose spiral computed tomography (LDCT), according to a National Cancer Institute study.

In the study, 522 people tested positive for lung abnormalities. Of those, 12% had lung biopsies and 7% were diagnosed with lung cancer within a year of their first positive screening results.

LDCT, a more advanced form of computed tomography, is now being evaluated as a more effective alternative to chest radiographs for lung cancer screening. While it can identify smaller lesions better than an X ray, no studies have yet shown that it can help reduce lung cancer death rates.

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