An exciting new screening tool has been created by a Brock University epidemiologist to help calculate the risk of lung cancer and the need for surgery.
Martin Tammemagi has created software that can aid doctors in knowing if nodules showing up on CT lung scans have a high probability of being cancerous and in turn reduce the number of needless testing, biopsies and surgery.
When a nodule shows up on a scan, its details will be entered into Tammemagi’s model, including size, location and whether the nodule is solid, semi-solid or looks like ground glass. Additional info, like age, gender, and family history, are entered onto a spreadsheet, which then calculates the probability of the nodule being cancerous.
Globally, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths accounting for 1.4 million deaths annually.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada and the leading cause of death from cancer for both men and women.
The organization estimates that, on average, 70 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer every day, with an average of 55 Canadians dying from lung cancer every day.
Tammemagi’s model was developed as part of a team of Canadian scientists whose findings appear today (Wednesday) in the New England Journal of Medicine.