Another obvious study came out recently in the NEJM. It turns out screening smokers with CT scans can detect cancers earlier. Duh. It takes 320 scanned patients to prevent one cancer death. For the heck of it, let's say each scan costs $1000. It would take $320,000 of scanning to prevent one cancer death. And this for a habit that patients know will kill them? There are 7 million people in the country right now who fit the criteria used in the study. Do the math. Can we afford that? Sure looks like an ethical debate in a time where we need to at least consider rationing of treatment and testing.