Lung cancer kills more men and women than any other type of cancer. Screening can detect cancer before symptoms develop and the disease spreads. A lung cancer screen is a painless low dose CT scan which scans the body and uses low doses of radiation to take pictures of the lungs. The scan only takes 5 minutes and is recommended for people who are at high risk for lung cancer.
Those at the highest risk for lung cancer are ages 55-75 who are current or former smokers with a 30 or more pack year history.
pack year history = number of packs per day X the number of years smoked
Additional criteria for those at high risk include people who are 50-54 with a 20 pack-year history AND a history of:
- Radon or occupational carcinogen exposure
- Family history of lung cancer
- COPD or pulmonary fibrosis
- Personal history of cancer or lymphoma