Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2012

Screening longtime tobacco users for lung cancer would be less costly than the widely accepted practice of screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers and would reduce the death toll of lung cancer by an estimated 15,000 lives a year, according to a study released Monday that is likely to ignite debate on expanding healthcare coverage for smokers. A group of actuarial economists calculated that annual low-dose CT scans of middle-aged Americans who have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes every day for 30 years would cost each insured American an extra 76 cents a month. That investment could give each person whose lung cancer was caught early an extra year of life, at a cost of $18,862 per patient.

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