Encourage Lung Cancer Screening

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Let’s Work Together to Help High-Risk Patients
A Society of Behavioral Medicine Call to Action
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.
What Patients Should Do
What Health Care Providers Should Do
What Policymakers Should Do