CT Lung Cancer Screening Causes Anxiety
Radiologists have put a lot of effort into ensuring lung screening is available to at-risk patients. Now, they need to help these patients feel comfortable, says a new study presented during the CHEST 2015 annual meeting in Montreal.
Researchers from Stony Brook Cancer Center in Stony Brook, N.Y., examined 175 patients enrolled in their low-dose CT lung cancer screening program, which offers counseling throughout the screening process. Nearly half of the patients (43 percent) had elevated levels of anxiety before screening. For some patients, this level of anxiety did not lessen even after the results determined they did not have cancer. Guilt over tobacco use and fear of a cancer diagnosis were major causes of the distress.
Ultimately, researchers concluded distress monitoring and potential clinical intervention should be available as needed to support patients undergoing screening.