New Study To Examine Why Patients Choose Lung Cancer Screenings

May 4, 2017

Lung cancer kills nearly 4,000 Hoosiers a year, and early detection improves patients change for survival but the decision to screen or not is complicated.

Now an Indiana researcher is preparing a unique study focusing on lung cancer screening from a patient’s perspective, specifically what makes someone decide to screen or to not screen for cancer.

Indiana University School of Nursing researcher and assistant professor Lisa Carter-Harris says many who might benefit don’t opt to get tested.

“Because they don’t know about their lungs, about lung health, they don’t know about lung screening, they don’t know about the benefits, the risks,” Carter-Harris says.

Lung screening guidelines have only been in place for a few years, and they target people who are or have been heavy smokers. Carter-Harris says many patients decide not to test for a variety of reasons.

“There are other things at play like stigma and health care system mistrust,” Carter-Harris says.

The study will use social media to recruit people and develop a framework to examine why people may screen or not screen. The research is funded by a $458,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute.