Study Finds that Chest X-Rays for Lung Cancer Do Not Save Lives: Could a Doctor Still Get Sued?

The Journal of American Medical Association published a study that found people who received chest x-rays to screen for lung cancer had a no better chance of a surviving after four years than those who were not screened at all.

The study, which followed 150,000 participants of equally split gender, with about ten percent current smokers, and forty-five percent non-smoker or former smokers respectfully, were either offered a chest x-ray or no screening at all. After the four years of follow ups, more cancers were found in the chest of the x-ray group-obviously-but the survival rate remained nearly the same.

The conclusion was that even though more cancers are detected with x-ray groups, they were still not detected early enough to impact survival. However, on blog post that I had written a long time ago did find that aggressive screening in smokers, particularly heavy smokers, did have a larger reduction in mortality rates.

What does this mean for doctors? For starters, they really need to explain the risks, benefits, and alternatives to their patients. To do this, they really need to stay abreast to new studies such as this, and accurately explain it to their patients. They should really learn how the medical community around them-known in medical malpractice as the locality rule-on how a physician of ordinary skill and competence would handle this situation. That is, to prevent malpractice liability, with the storm of all these studies-I feel there is a new one almost every day that I write on-a doctor really does need to know what is going on. Hence why, like yesterday's post, temporary workers may not be able to stay on top of all the changes while permanent workers can.

But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.

 

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