Florida residents may be interested to learn that while Medicare will pay for a new lung cancer test for individuals within a certain high-risk population, not all doctors think the test is a good idea. Although a study in 2011 showed that the test might reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent, some physicians caution that it must be balanced against the potentially high rate of false positives and the subsequent tests that may have dangerous complications. For example, a lung biopsy could lead to a collapsed lung.
Physicians are not questioning the study itself, and a panel of independent experts have argued that the tests, called spiral CT scans, are more likely to do good than harm. The concern that some doctors have is about how the tests will be conducted outside the strictures of the study. Physicians point out that in the study, participants fully understood the parameters of the test and the potential dangers of follow-up testing.