Screening for lung cancer: the guidelines

Chest. 2003 Jan;123(1 Suppl):83S-88S. doi: 10.1378/chest.123.1_suppl.83s.


Although virtually all individuals with advanced lung cancer succumb to the disease, a substantial portion of individuals diagnosed at an earlier stage can be cured. This dichotomy has provoked interest in lung cancer screening. To date, randomized controlled trials of chest x-ray and sputum cytology have failed to demonstrate that screening with either modality decreases lung cancer mortality; neither of these technologies can be recommended. Early studies of lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) appear promising; however, only data from observational studies are available. We recommend that individuals should only be screened with LDCT in the context of well-designed clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sputum
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed