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SCOTT JAGOW: Lung cancer kills more people than any other kind of cancer, but for years, doctors have discouraged getting lung screenings too early. They can lead to false positive readings. Now a new study suggests the benefits might be too great to ignore. From North Carolina public radio, Janet Babin reports.
JANET BABIN: The study found that people with lung tumors discovered early through CT, or computerized tomography scans, increased their survival rates by more than 20 percent.
If the study results hold, CT scans for smokers could one day become as routine as mammograms are for women.
Mammogram maker Hologic is expected to bring in $600 million in revenue this year. And CT scan makers like GE, Toshiba and Phillips could see sales soar.
Healthcare analyst Les Funtleyder is with Miller Tabak.
LES FUNTLEYDER: “It’s hard to break out how much usage is related to how much demand in sales, but obviously more demand for scans somewhere down the line relates to more demand for the scanners.”
Insurance companies might not be keen on paying the bill, but Funtleyder says heathcare providers would ultimately save money on early scans that are much cheaper than end of life care for lung cancer victims.
I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.
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