Lung cancer is often difficult to detect before symptoms of the disease show themselves. By that time, tumors are typically fairly large and the cancer has likely spread to other organs, which makes treatment more difficult and less likely to succeed.
However, two recent studies have at least begun to provide hope for improving the current situation. One, published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, focuses on chest x-rays and their effect on the lung cancer mortality rate, and the second compares the effectiveness of chest x-rays with low-dose CT scans. These studies have caused physicians to take a new look at early lung cancer detection.