Lung Cancer Screening

March 22, 2021

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Anchor lead: New lung cancer screening guidelines for those who’ve smoked are here, Elizabeth Tracey reports

People with a 20 pack year history of cigarette smoking should have low dose CT scans to screen them for lung cancer, a federal task force has recommended. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says there are important implications to these expanded guidelines.

Nelson: One of the things is they’ve modeled through what that would mean and here’s the most important thing: by doing so you probably screen or make eligible for screening probably double the number of people we screen now and included among that is a greater fraction of African Americans. African Americans, individuals do different things but as a group they typically smoke a little bit less in terms of cigarettes than Caucasians but they still have lung cancer risk so now you use a screening tool to better aid African Americans.  :30

Nelson notes that even though such recommendations have been in place for heavy smokers for several years now, only about 15% of those eligible chose screening. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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