Updated Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

When it comes to lung cancer, the statistics are grim. Only 15 percent of patients are still alive five years after diagnosis because symptoms often don’t appear until later stages, and about 70 percent of people have advanced disease at the time they’re diagnosed, according to a study published in February 2020 in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

With early detection, via screening, doctors can make a diagnosis before symptoms develop. If the cancer is found at an early stage, surgery is a possible cure.

Hence, the early screening is important.

An early diagnosis can save lives, but spotting the cancer in its beginning stages has been a struggle. Most cases of lung cancer don’t show symptoms until they’re in advanced stages.

Low-dose CT scans can pick it up, but that has historically been reserved for those with a long history of heavy smoking.

 

Figure 1.The new, broader, lung cancer screening guidelines make it easier for women and Black Americans to be eligible for lung cancer screening. @ Getty Images

 

More Americans now qualify for yearly, low-dose computerized tomography (CT) scans to detect lung cancer, according to new guidelines published by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The USPSTF’s updated guidelines lower the age to start screening with CT, reduce the amount of smoking history that makes someone eligible, and, in doing so, expand coverage to vulnerable populations.

Importantly, the USPTF recommendation mean insurers will offer the screening without a copay to people who meet the criteria.

 

Source from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/cancer/lung-cancer/updated-lung-cancer-screening-guidelines-more-americans-should-be-screened-at-a-younger-age-say-experts/