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A 22-year-old male asked:

How likely is a non-contrast high-resolution ct of the entire chest (not selective thin slices at random regions) to miss lung cancer when symptoms (e.g. shortness of breath, cough) are present?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Colantino
Internal Medicine 63 years experience
Radiologist: A radiologist would know the statistics of the sensitivity and specificity of that type of imaging. I would expect it to be unlikely that such an imaging procedure would miss a growth, but a biopsy would still be required to diagnose cancer with certainty.
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Dr. Curtis Converse
A Verified Doctoranswered
General Practice 8 years experience
Not likely: A CT of the chest without contrast is a good test to catch cancer. While it is possible that a CT could miss a small cancer or one that is hidden by another process, a cancer that size would not be likely to cause symptoms of shortness of breath. Noncontrast CT is the preferred imaging study for lung cancer screening.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Dec 7, 2016


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