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Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations Finalized — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 2, 2014

Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations Finalized

By Joe Elia

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued its final recommendation on screening for lung cancer in the Annals of Internal Medicine, but not to universal acclaim.

The group recommends annual screening with low-dose computed tomography for adults aged 55 to 80 with a 30-pack-year smoking history who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening is discouraged for those who quit 15 or more years ago or who've developed health problems that substantially limit their life expectancy.

Two editorials accompany the recommendations: One is critical of the USPSTF's use of modeling data to fill gaps in evidence — expressing dismay that the "B" rating (moderate certainty of moderate benefit) will, in effect, mandate coverage for the procedure under the Affordable Care Act. The other editorial asks whether primary care clinicians currently have enough information to advise their patients on screening's benefits and harms.

Reader Comments (2)

Leon Green, MD. Physician, Surgery, Specialized, ABC Hospital México City

Excellent information always.

Michael Willers Physician, Cardiology

Might I also ask why we, as a society, should pay for screening for problems created by an individual's own behavior -- a behavior that has long been known to be harmful? If someone smokes or has smoked, they -- not society -- should pay for the screening.

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