Dr. Henschke shares what the early lung cancer action project is.
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In the early 1990s, for the first time CT scans were available where you could get a, go through the entire chest in a breath hold; that’s in less than 20 seconds. Before that, it would take about half an hour to get a CT scan. So, with that innovation, all of a sudden there were many people with small nodules that were found to have small nodules. At that point, all of a sudden, many small nodules were being detected, and we were having to discuss how best to work them up. At that point, we thought that we should evaluate CT screening for lung cancer at the same time we answer those questions about what to do with these small nodules, and that’s how we started our project in 1993. It is called ELCAP--Early Lung Cancer Action Project--and we enrolled a thousand people at two institutions to see how often we could detect nodules, how often they were cancer, and how to best work them up.