WASHINGTON -- Trumpeting a landmark study released recently, hospitals around the United States have started offering deeply discounted CT scans for smokers worried about lung cancer. But some question whether it's a marketing ploy that could bring more harm than good.

Among them, St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., put out a single-page flier with a headline that a "10-second scan could be life-saving" and a clip-out coupon for a $49 procedure.

The hospitals say they're responding to the study by the National Cancer Institute. It found that annual low-dose CT (computerized tomography) screening of asymptomatic current or former smokers could cut the death rate from lung cancer by 20 percent by identifying the disease earlier than X-rays can.

The American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are studying the issue.

-- Kaiser Health News / MCT

Latest videos