In 23% of cases, lung cancer cannot be seen on x-rays of the chest, scientists from the University of Exeter or Leedsfound out. This means that if you rely only on an x-ray, then in every four patients the disease will not be diagnosed in a timely manner.
To date, x-ray remains one of the main methods for diagnosing lung cancer. However, the authors of the study note that modern medicine should rely less on x-rays and more trust other more modern diagnostic methods like computed tomography.
Lung cancer is considered one of the deadliest types of cancer. In the UK alone, this disease kills 36,000 people each year, and about 50,000 diagnoses are made there per year. Less than 1% of all patients can expect to live over five years. Unlike many other tumors, lung cancer survival statistics over the past 40 years have not changed.
The authors of the study urge doctors to exclude X-ray examination from the list of priority diagnostic tools.
Patients with suspected lung tumors are recommended to be referred for computed tomography, which is approximately 20 times more expensive and requires much more time.