Lung cancer claims more lives than breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers combined.
Lung cancer screening—using a low-dose CT scan of the chest—can reduce lung cancer deaths. But screening awareness, access, and use remains low.
Here’s how to help.
• Ask a doctor about screening. Screening is recommended for those who are 55-80 years of age; have no current cancer symptoms; smoke currently or quit within the last 15 years; and have a 30 pack-year smoking history. A person with a 30 pack-year smoking history would have smoked at least one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.
• Integrate evidence-based tobacco treatment into lung cancer screening.
• Reduce screening barriers for underserved patients who have higher rates of lung cancer, such as lower-income and rural patients.
• Counsel patients about the potential benefits and harms associated with screening. Cancer may be discovered earlier when it is more treatable, but false positives can occur.
• Support the integration of evidence-based tobacco treatment into lung cancer screening programs.
• Increase funding for screening at federally qualified health centers and community health centers.
• Incentivize screening the right people, not simply more people. The right people are eligible for screening and informed about the process.
• Increase funding for research on lung cancer screening, including research on managing incidental findings and promoting patient engagement.