USPSTF issues new recommendation for lung cancer screening

March 12, 2021

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published a final recommendation statement on screening for lung cancer in people who do not have signs or symptoms.

The USPSTF recommended yearly screening using a low dose computed tomography (CT) scan for people ages 50-80 who are at high risk for lung cancer because of their smoking history.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.

In the final recommendation, the task force has made two changes that will nearly double the number of people eligible for lung cancer screening. First, the task force now recommends that people start screening at age 50, rather than 55. Second, this recommendation reduces the pack-years of smoking history that make someone eligible for screening from 30 pack-years of smoking to 20.

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