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Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer screening is only recommended for people age 50 and older who are or were heavy smokers. Testing is not recommended for people at average risk. Screening is done with an annual low-dose CT scan (LDCT) of the chest. These guidelines follow CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) recommendations.

You should be screened for lung cancer if:

  • You are age 50–80
  • You currently smoke or have quit smoking in the past 15 years
  • You are or were a heavy smoker (20 pack year smoking history: see below)
  • You are in good health overall

Am I A Heavy Smoker?

A "heavy smoker" is defined as someone with a smoking history of at least 20 pack years. A pack year is the number of cigarette packs smoked each day multiplied by the number of years a person smoked.

You have a 20 pack year smoking history if:

  • You smoked 1 pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years
  • You smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day for 10 years