New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

The updated USPSTF lung cancer screening guidelines expand eligibility for people to receive lung cancer screening.

In March 2021, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released updated guidelines for lung cancer screening using low-density computed tomography (LDCT). These new guidelines will make eligible individuals who are 50 to 80 years, have a 20 pack-year smoking history, and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years to receive lung cancer screening.

The previous lung cancer screening guidelines, released in 2013, recommended annual low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans for people between the ages of 55 to 80 years who had a 30 pack-year smoking history and who currently smoked or had quit within the past 15 years.

The new guidelines will result in 14.5 million US adults being eligible for lung cancer screening, an increase of 81% (6.4 million adults) from the 2013 recommendations. These guidelines will also have the potential to increase access to screening to more women and underserved communities, who tend to have a lower pack-year history, and therefore were not included in the previous criteria.

Prior to the release of the updated guidelines, LUNGevity had the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed updates. The full comment letter can be read here.

We are pleased with the final guidelines, particularly as they may lessen both gender and racial disparities and allow many more individuals to receive lung cancer screening, providing hope for earlier diagnoses and potentially increasing the survival rate of lung cancer. Our next focus will be ensuring adherence to the updated guidelines.

While we are happy to see these guidelines expand, there is still work to be done. LUNGevity strives for early detection for all and is committed to continuing our work to achieve this goal.