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American Cancer Society Recommends Informed Decision Making in Lung Cancer Screening
ATLANTA, January 16, 2012 /3BL Media/ - New guidelines from the American Cancer Society say evidence is sufficient to recommend screening high risk patients for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (CT) provided that certain conditions exist.
- The patient is aged 55 to 74 years, has at least a 30–pack-year smoking history*, and currently smokes or has quit within the past 15 years
- The patient has undergone a thorough discussion of the benefits, limitations, and risks of screening.
- The patient can be screened in a setting with experience in lung cancer screening.
Following the announcement of results from the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) in late 2010, the American Cancer Society joined with the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to produce a systematic review of the evidence related to lung cancer screening with low dose CT. The systematic review focused on four key questions: What are the potential benefits of screening individuals at high risk of developing lung cancer using LDCT? What are the potential harms of screening individuals at high risk of developing lung cancer using LDCT? Which groups are likely to benefit or not benefit? And in what setting is screening likely to be effective?
The results of this systematic review were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June, 2012, and were used as the basis for these new recommendations, which are being published early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. (In 2010, the American Cancer Society issued interim guidance to inform referring clinicians and adults at risk for lung cancer while a full guideline was developed.) The report will appear in print in the March/April 2012 issue of the journal.
In the report describing the new guidelines, the authors say: “Findings from the National Cancer Institute’s National Lung Screening Trial established that lung cancer mortality in specific high-risk groups can be reduced by annual screening with low-dose computed tomography. These findings indicate that the adoption of lung cancer screening could save many lives.”