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Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

People who currently smoke or formerly smoked are at higher risk for lung cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) for some of these people.

Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

The American Cancer Society recommends yearly screening for lung cancer with a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan for people aged 50 to 80 years who:

  • Smoke or used to smoke


  • Have at least a 20 pack-year history of smoking

A pack-year is equal to smoking 1 pack (or about 20 cigarettes) per day for a year. For example, a person could have a 20 pack-year history by smoking 1 pack a day for 20 years, or by smoking 2 packs a day for 10 years.

Before deciding to be screened, people should have a discussion with a healthcare professional about the purpose of screening and how it is done, as well as the benefits, limits, and possible harms of screening.

People who still smoke should be counseled about quitting and offered interventions and resources to help them.

People should not be screened if they have serious health problems that will likely limit how long they will live, or if they won’t be able to or won’t want to get treatment if lung cancer is found.

Lung Cancer Screening Articles in Cancer