New recommendations for lung cancer screenings have been released by the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The guideline reevaluates who is at high risk of lung cancer and who should be checked annually, and it was published in the ACS journal “CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians” on Wednesday.
Previously established at 30, the American Cancer Society (ACS) now advises yearly low-dose CT scans for individuals aged 50 to 80 with a history of smoking 20 or more pack years.
According to ACS, a pack year is equal to smoking one pack, or around 20 cigarettes, every day for a year.
This is equivalent to smoking one pack per day for twenty years or two packs per day for ten years.
The number of years that have passed after stopping smoking is no longer a factor in starting or stopping yearly testing.
As a result, those who have quit smoking for 15 years will remain eligible for screenings because the risk of lung cancer increases with ageing, according to the American Cancer Society.
“That means a person who used to smoke with at least a 20 pack-year history, whether they quit yesterday or 20 years ago, is considered to have a high risk for developing lung cancer and should be recommended for a yearly LDCT scan if they don’t have a serious health problem that will likely limit how long they will live, or if they won’t be able to or won’t want to get treatment if lung cancer is found,” the American Cancer Society stated on its website.
The eligibility of approximately five million more persons was made possible by extending the screening age from the prior range of 55 to 74 years.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) urged anyone thinking about screening to talk about the goal and function of screenings and to engage in shared decision-making with a medical practitioner.
It is important for patients and providers to talk about the advantages, restrictions, and drawbacks of LDCT screenings.
In addition, the group urged smokers to seek out counselling services for quitting and make use of the tools that were made accessible.
The goal of the new guidelines is to lower the number of lung cancer deaths in the United States, which currently exceed the total mortality from colon, breast, and prostate cancers.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer can be effectively treated if it is discovered early on, while it is still little and hasn’t spread.
In an email to Fox News Digital, Miami Cancer Institute chief of thoracic surgery Mark Dylewski, M.D., said that these recommendations will “probably be flexible over time” as more research is done on cancer epidemiology.
“The U.S. Preventative Services Taskforce is following the epidemiology of lung cancer in the United States and is motivated to identify the highest risk factors in the largest patient population, so they can influence or guide the patients in making the decision to obtain a screening study,” he stated.
Dylewsi surmised that the increased number of early lung cancer cases in younger people was probably what sparked the alterations.
This may also account for the drop in pack-year from thirty to twenty, citing a “significant increased risk in that population,” he continued.
“The whole objective with studies like this is to capture as many high-risk patients in that population as possible to have an impact,” he stated.
“Overall, across the United States, we are seeing a reduction in the incidence of lung cancer due to many reasons, including patients smoking less frequently and increased community awareness and education.”