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Lung Cancer, Screening, 2013

* Indicates an old grade definition


Recommendations: Screening for Lung Cancer

  • Lung Cancer: Screening -- Adults Ages 55-80 who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
    Grade: B
    Specific Recommendations:

    The USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery. 

    Frequency of Service:

    Annual screening.  Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery.

    Risk Factor Information:

    Age, total exposure to tobacco smoke, and years since quitting smoking are important risk factors for lung cancer and were used to determine eligibility in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). Other risk factors include specific occupational exposures, radon exposure, family history, and history of pulmonary fibrosis or chronic obstructive lung disease. The incidence of lung cancer is relatively low in persons younger than 50 years but increases with age, especially after age 60 years. In current and former smokers, age-specific incidence rates increase with age and cumulative exposure to tobacco smoke.

    Smoking cessation substantially reduces a person's risk for developing and dying of lung cancer. Among persons enrolled in the NLST, those who were at highest risk because of additional risk factors or a greater cumulative exposure to tobacco smoke experienced most of the benefit. A validated multivariate model showed that persons in the highest 60% of risk accounted for 88% of all deaths preventable by screening.

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