Veterans decide CT lung cancer screening will help them continue to smoke

Linkbait-y title aside, JAMA Internal Medicine has an interesting new too-small too-ungeneralizable study of 35 veterans across multiple VAs. In it, 49% (i.e. 17 patients) admitted that the availability of CT lung cancer screening reduced their motivation to quit. Reportedly, quitting is hard and CT scans are easy.



Of course, hunting for and even finding lung nodules isn’t going to prevent you from dying from cardiovascular disease or COPD, which together are responsible for over half of all smoking-related deaths. Nor will it touch the various other cancers smoking causes, like squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, which I see all the time. CT lung cancer screening for high risk individuals is a no-brainer, the data are substantial, but quitting or never-starting needs to be as well!



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