Q

Lung Cancer Diagnosis & Screening

Does lung cancer screening actually work?

A Answers (2)

  • Lung cancer screening is a highly controversial subject with respected experts on both sides of the argument. However, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently released a draft recommendation addressing annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (commonly known as a CT or CAT scan) in persons at high risk for lung cancer.  This high risk group is defined as current and former smokers ages 55 to 79 years who have significant cumulative tobacco smoke exposure.  In this group of patients, they found that the screening CT scan can prevent a substantial number of lung cancer deaths.  There is currently not a recommendation for lung cancer screening in non-smokers of any age or in smokers younger than 55 or older than 79 years of age.
  • A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Nothing is more effective for reducing lung cancer deaths than smoking cessation.  However, for those that are at high risk  (those who meet all THREE criteria; are ages 55-74, have a 30 pack-year history of smoking, and currenly still smoke or quit in the last 15 years), annual screening with low-dose chest CT has been shown to have a 20% reduction in mortality from lung cancer due to earlier diagosis.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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