Disparities in Lung Cancer Screening: A Review

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2020 Apr;17(4):399-405. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201907-556CME.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Certain groups are at increased risk of developing lung cancer and experience greater morbidity and mortality than the general population. Lung cancer screening provides an opportunity to detect lung cancer at an early stage when surgical intervention can be curative; however, current screening guidelines may overlook vulnerable populations with disproportionate lung cancer burden. This review aims to characterize disparities in lung cancer screening eligibility, as well as access to lung cancer screening, focusing on underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities and high-risk populations, such as individuals with human immunodeficiency virus. We also explore potential system- and patient-level barriers that may influence smoking patterns and healthcare access. Improving access to high-quality health care with a focus on smoking cessation is essential to reduce the burden of lung cancer experienced by vulnerable populations.

Keywords: black; disparities; lung cancer; screening; socioeconomic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural