Lung Cancer Screening


Anchor lead: More people should now be screened for lung cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

More people now meet the criteria for lung cancer screening, if new guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force are implemented. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the update.

Nelson: They have proposed to change the guidelines by dropping the age to start screening from 55 years old to 50 years old. That may be more beneficial to African Americans at risk for lung cancer because if you look at the age distribution when they develop the disease it is at a little bit younger age. And then they backed off on the pack year recommendation from 30 pack years to 20 pack years. That may actually benefit women. Women seem to be more likely to get lung cancer by smoking less than men do.   :31

Nelson reminds everyone that the single best strategy for avoiding lung cancer is not to smoke, or to stop as quickly as possible, since after 15 years your risk drops to that of a never-smoker. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.