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17

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Lung Cancer Screening, Version 1.2017

3

Should you start now?

Get the best screening test

Make a decision with your doctor

Screening isn’t recommended for high-risk people

with poor health, who if diagnosed with cancer would

not be able to get curative treatment. Poor health

might involve health conditions that are serous like

heart disease or another cancer diagnosis. NCCN

experts recommend that people at high risk for

lung cancer discuss and decide with their doctor

whether to start lung cancer screening or not. It is

also recommended that there be a multidisciplinary

team approach for lung cancer screening. This

means doctors or medical staff form different areas

of medicine come together and decide on a lung

screening plan.

For lung cancer screening, it is helpful to include

doctors from:

†

†

Thoracic (chest) radiology

†

†

Pulmonary (lung) medicine

†

†

Thoracic surgery

The team could be involved from initial screening

with an LDCT (

l

ow-

d

ose

c

omputed

t

omography)

through follow-up screening. Initial screening is

called the first LDCT or baseline LDCT. Follow-up

LDCTs are done at certain time points and are based

on the first LDCT results.

It is important to talk openly about the benefits and

risks of lung cancer screening with your medical

team. See Part 6 for some benefits and risks you can

talk about with your doctors.

Get the best screening test

Research supports using spiral (also called helical)

LDCT of the chest for lung cancer screening. It is the

only screening test proven to reduce the number of

deaths from lung cancer. However, a single LDCT

test may show abnormalities that suggest there is

cancer when there is no cancer.

Figures 3 and 4

depict some of the benefits and risks of lung cancer

screening.

Number of

packs per day

Pack years

Years of smoking

The amount of smoking is

based on pack years

1.5 packs a day

x 30 years

= 45 pack years