The United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that people at high risk for lung cancer undergo annual low-dose CT scans, which can prevent a substantial number of lung cancer-related deaths. The task force did so in a draft recommendation statement that is open for public comment until August 26, 2013.
After reviewing the evidence, the panel—which provides evidence-based recommendations on preventive services—recommended screening people who are 55 to 80 years old, have a 30 pack year or greater history of smoking, and who are either current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years.
- A “pack year” means that someone has smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for a year. A person reaches 30 pack years by smoking a pack per day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.
The draft recommendation statement has been posted for public comment on the task force website as www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.
Comments can be submitted until August 26 at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tfcomment.html.