Updated ACS Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines: Redefining High-Risk Criteria, Expanding Age Range, and Easing Smoking History Requirements

November 1, 2023

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has updated its recommendations for lung cancer screening, dropping the criterion about how long it has been since an individual quit smoking. The new guidelines encourage annual low-dose CT scans for anyone with a substantial history of smoking. The screening age range has been revised to include those aged 50 to 80, and the smoking history requirement has been reduced from 30 pack years to 20. These changes align with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s guidelines, except for the years-since-quitting rule. The ACS argues that removing this criterion will enable more high-risk individuals to receive screenings, as risk does not significantly decrease after 15 years. The revised guidelines could help detect lung cancer in more diverse populations who were previously excluded. The ACS encourages further research to refine high-risk determinations and improve recommendations.

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[Source: STAT, November 1st, 2023]

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