Lung cancer screening: recommendation statement

Ann Intern Med. 2004 May 4;140(9):738-9. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-140-9-200405040-00014.


This statement summarizes the current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for lung cancer and the supporting scientific evidence and updates the 1996 recommendations on this topic. In 1996, the USPSTF recommended against screening for lung cancer (a grade D recommendation). The Task Force now uses an explicit process in which the balance of benefits and harms is determined exclusively by the quality and magnitude of the evidence. As a result, current letter grades are based on different criteria than those used in 1996. The complete information on which this statement is based, including evidence tables and references, is available in the accompanying article in this issue and in the systematic evidence review on this topic, available through the USPSTF Web site ( and the National Guideline Clearinghouse ( The complete USPSTF recommendation statement (which includes a brief review of the supporting evidence) and the summary of the evidence are also available in print through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Publications Clearinghouse (telephone, 800-358-9295; e-mail,

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Radiography, Thoracic*
  • Sputum / cytology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*