Lung Cancer Screening News
March 9, 2021, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced revisions to its existing lung cancer screening by lowering the screening age and including patients with a shorter smoking history.
The USPSTF update recommends annual lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography in individuals at high risk:
- 50-80 years old
- Have at least a 20-pack year smoking history
- Are currently smoking or quit within the past 15 years
This recommendation essentially doubles the number of individuals eligible for CT lung screening in the U.S. and will save lives. EARLY DETECTION is the best way to save lives and treat lung cancer early. If you, or someone you, know fit this criteria, don’t wait to be screened.
Expanding the screening guidelines is a critical step to improve survival rates and reach more of those Americans potentially at high risk for this disease,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO, American Lung Association. This recommendation will nearly double the number of individuals eligible for screening and has the potential to save significantly more lives than the current guidelines.
In addition, we know that people of color who are diagnosed with lung cancer face worse outcomes compared to white Americans because they are less likely to be diagnosed early, less likely to receive surgical treatment, and more likely to not receive any treatment. The expanded criteria will more than double the number of Black and Hispanic people eligible for screening and increase the number of American Indians and Alaskan Natives eligible by 2.7-fold. Close to twice as many women will also be eligible for screening under the revised guidelines.
Now, Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers lung cancer screenings with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) once each year if you meet all of these conditions:
- You’re age 50-80 years old.
- You don’t have signs or symptoms of lung cancer (asymptomatic).
- You’re either a current smoker or have quit smoking within the last 15 years.
- You have a tobacco smoking history
Learn more about lung cancer screening and lung health at Saved By The Scan.