Ella A. Kazerooni, MD, MS, FACR, Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Lung-RADS committee and Lung Cancer Screening Registry, contributed this piece.
For most of my life, lung cancer has been seen as that cancer that you didn’t want to get, had no hope and was considered self-inflicted. We’ve ignored the evidence that addiction to nicotine isn’t just a simple habit that could be overcome with willpower. It’s been the leading cause of cancer death in the United States (U.S.) for a few decades now. Thankfully we’re at a turning point, and the face of lung cancer is changing, with radiology practices leading the way!
In March of this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated their lung cancer screening recommendation. Individuals who are 50-80 years of age (previously 55-80), and have a 20 pack-year or more smoking history (previously 30 pack-years), who either currently smoke or have quit in the last 15 years are eligible for screening. This update is projected to increase the number of individuals eligible from eight to 14 million, and helps to reach Blacks and women who have a higher risk of lung cancer at a younger age and with a lower smoking history. Within only a few weeks, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the largest primary care professional organization in the U.S., advised their membership to follow the USPSTF’s recommendations, and updated their own guidelines.
With these important changes, it’s more important than ever to help patients and primary care physicians locate a facility close to them that offers lung cancer screening. To help, the ACR has created a new Lung Cancer Screening Locator Tool. Plug in a zip code, set the distance from where you are and a list of facilities compiles that includes information such as address and phone number, along with a map. Importantly, more and more professional organizations, advocacy organizations and others are linking to the Lung Cancer Screening Locator Tool to help their members and visitors to their websites find screening facilities too.
If your lung cancer screening center’s information needs to be updated or added, please submit this update form.
Lung cancer screening with low-dose chest CT for early detection saves lives. Let’s make our screening facilities more visible to those who need them!
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