publication date: Jan. 10, 2014


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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its final recommendation statement on screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography.

Annual LDCT screening can reduce lung cancer mortality of high-risk persons aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke, or have quit within the past 15 years, the 16-member task force determined.

The Dec. 31 recommendation retains its “B” grade, which is likely to alter the practice of medicine, boosting the utilization of CT screening and follow-up procedures. The grade was based primarily on the NCI-sponsored National Lung Screening Trial (The Cancer Letter, Aug. 2, 2013).

There are no significant differences between the final recommendation and the July 30, 2013 draft recommendation. The statement is published online in Annals of Internal Medicine, as well as on the task force’s website.

“Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery,” the recommendation states. “The incidence of lung cancer increases with age and occurs most commonly in persons aged 55 years or older. Increasing age and cumulative exposure to tobacco smoke are the two most common risk factors for lung cancer.”

LDCT has greater sensitivity for detecting early-stage cancer, and early-stage non-small cell lung cancer has a better prognosis and can be treated with surgical resection.

The task force said it found adequate evidence that annual … Continue reading 40-02 USPSTF

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