Lung cancer screening tests are performed to check for early signs of lung cancer in individuals who do not have any symptoms. Routine screenings are very effective and can sometimes detect even the smallest abnormalities in lung tissue. This is important because early detection can lead to better outcomes and a higher quality of life. As these tests become more accurate and accessible through ongoing research advances, early detection rates continue to rise.
With that said, people who have a low or average risk of developing lung cancer typically do not need routine screenings. Currently, the lung screening eligibility criteria endorsed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screenings only for individuals who are between the ages of 55 and 77 and are either:
- Former smokers who quit within the last 15 years, or
- Current smokers who smoked an average of one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, two packs a day for 10 years etc.
If you’re concerned about your lung cancer screening needs, the best course of action is to ask your physician for advice. He or she can take into consideration your age, medical history, genetics, family history and other factors to provide a tailored recommendation.
Where to get screened for lung cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center has a comprehensive lung cancer screening program that ranks among the best in the nation. Here, you can undergo high-definition CT scans, have the results reviewed by experienced radiologists and, if necessary, receive an individualized treatment recommendation in the same location. At Moffitt, we’re committed to bringing our patients the latest advances in screening and prevention.