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Screening for Lung Cancer

The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.

Screening Guidelines

Though some vary slightly, most professional guidelines recommend that you and your doctor discuss the risks and benefits of lung cancer screening if you:

  • Are a current or former smoker who quit within the last 15 years
  • Are 55-74 years old
  • Have a history of heavy smoking (such as one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years)

Screening is done with a low-dose CT scan. A CT scan is a series of x-rays put together by a computer to create images of the lung.

Revision Information

  • Lung cancer screening. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/diagnosing-and-treating/lung-cancer-screening.html. Accessed July 26, 2016.

  • Lung cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 16, 2016. Accessed July 26, 2016.

  • 10/1/2013 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Manser R, Lethaby A, Irving LB,et al. Screening for lung cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(6):CD001991.