What are the lung cancer screening recommendations?


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What are the lung cancer screening recommendations?  Recently the ACCP (The American College of Chest Physicians) published their new lung cancer screening guidelines.

Who should get an ANNUAL lung cancer screening?

  • Adults aged 55 to 77 years of age who have smoked at least 30 “pack year history” (like one pack per day for 30 years)
  • both for individuals who continue to smoke OR those who have quit within the past 15 years.

What is the annual lung cancer screening?  “low-dose” CT scan of the lungs.

What if patients have other risks of lung cancer but don’t meet the above criteria?  Then, it is not suggested that an annual low dose lung CT is done.

What else to consider?  Individuals with grave conditions (such as advanced liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or a New York Heart Association class IV heart failure) should not receive the low-dose lung CT as the patient may potentially sustain substantial harm from screening or may have limited potential benefit.

There is some discrepancy between different medical groups with regard to lung cancer screening.  The USPSTF recommends low-dose lung CT scan in patients aged 55 to 80 (and otherwise is the same as above) and the American Academy of Family Physicians concluded that the evidence was insufficient to support screening and instead the physician and patient should have “shared decision making”.

Want more information? Chest.  April 2018; 153(4): 954-985 or https://journal.chestnet.org/article/s0012-3692(18)30094-1/fulltext


About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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