NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Lung Cancer Screening
Part 1: About lung cancer
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Screening programs can reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer
and other causes.
Lung cancer found by screening is often an earlier stage of disease than
cancer found because of symptoms.
Patients whose cancer was found with screening more often can have
minimally invasive surgery and have less lung tissue removed.
Screening programs don’t always find cancer early enough to be cured.
Some people get treated even though the cancer grows so slowly that it
won’t cause death.
Some people get unneeded tests, treatment, or both because screening
results were unclear or wrong.
Screening for lung cancer is recommended for the two high-risk groups. The first
high-risk group consists of people 55 years old and older who have smoked for 30
or more pack years. People who quit smoking more than 15 years ago are excluded.
The second high-risk group consists of people 50 years old and older who have
smoked for 20 or more pack years and have at least one more risk factor other than
second-hand smoke. Risk factors are described in Part 2 on page 7. Screening isn’t
recommended for high-risk people with poor health, who if diagnosed with cancer
would not be able to receive curative treatment.
A medicine that cures
disease or symptoms
that increases the chance
of getting a disease
Inhaled smoke from a lit
smoking product or that
was exhaled by a smoker
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