"These scans uncover things, often things that are not important. But you don't figure out that for a while," and only after entering "the medical vortex" of follow-up tests, said Dr. Peter Bach, a cancer screening expert at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
The best way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking or never start, and screening doesn't make smoking safer, doctors stress.
"That's everyone's public health concern: People will see this as a pass to continue smoking," Bach said of screening. "I don't think it's likely," because people know how harmful smoking is, he said.