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Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women in the United States. Clinical trials have shown that lung cancer screenings with low-dose CT can find lung cancer at an early stage and reduce lung cancer deaths.

For people 50 to 80 years old with 20 or more pack-years smoking history and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, chest CT without intravenous contrast (an imaging test done with a lower radiation dose) is usually appropriate. Twenty pack-years is smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, two packs a day for 10 years, and so on.

There are no imaging tests recommended for people younger than 50 years, regardless of their smoking history, and people of any age with a less than 20 pack-year smoking history, even if they have other risk factors. These risk factors include radon exposure, occupational exposure to cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), having been diagnosed with cancer, having a family history of lung cancer, having been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or with pulmonary fibrosis.

For more information, visit the Lung Cancer and Lung Cancer Screening pages.

This page was reviewed on January 24, 2024

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