November 03, 2023

ACS Releases New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines to Increase Saved Lives

The American Cancer Society (ACS) released an update to its 2013 lung cancer screening guidelines Nov. 1, to guide screening to healthcare providers and their patients who are at high risk for lung cancer due to a history of smoking. The updated guideline recommends yearly screening for lung cancer for people aged 50 to 80 years old who smoke or formerly smoked and have a 20-year or greater pack-year history. It aligns with the 2021 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Lung Cancer Screening recommendation but goes further and eliminates the USPSTF ‘years since quitting’ requirement.

Lung cancer is the overall leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is the second most frequently diagnosed malignancy in both men and women, according to the ACS. This year, they estimate that 238,340 new cases of lung will be diagnosed, and about 127,070 people will die from the disease. Patients should continue to consult with their physicians to determine if lung cancer screening is appropriate for them.

American College of Radiology® (ACR®) members should continue to follow existing guidelines and consult with health plans directly for specific lung cancer screening coverage details. ACR has advocated for expanding existing overage criteria for lung cancer screening with USPSTF and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These entities are not likely to update their existing recommendation to align with the updated ACS guideline, as they are on a specified timeline to update existing eligibility requirements and analyze new evidence.

To learn more about the updated guidelines, ACR encourages members to attend an educational webinar hosted by ACS Monday, Nov. 6, 1pm ET. Register today to attend.

The full details of the updated ACS guideline and supporting evidence are published in the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

ACR has a host of resources to support the lung screening community. Visit ACR Lung Cancer Screening Resources and to learn more.

If you have questions, contact Alicia Blakey, ACR Principal Economic Policy Analyst.