Lung cancer screening

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Jan 1;191(1):19-33. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201410-1777CI.


The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults of age 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and are currently smoking or have quit within the past 15 years. This recommendation is largely based on the findings of the National Lung Screening Trial. Both policy-level and clinical decision-making about LDCT screening must consider the potential benefits of screening (reduced mortality from lung cancer) and possible harms. Effective screening requires an appreciation that screening should be limited to individuals at high risk of death from lung cancer, and that the risk of harm related to false positive findings, overdiagnosis, and unnecessary invasive testing is real. A comprehensive understanding of these aspects of screening will inform appropriate implementation, with the objective that an evidence-based and systematic approach to screening will help to reduce the enormous mortality burden of lung cancer.

Keywords: cancer screening; early detection of cancer; guidelines; lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / standards*
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / adverse effects
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / standards
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Risk Assessment
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / adverse effects
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards
  • United States / epidemiology