As the President & CEO of the American Lung Association, I am privileged to witness the incredible progress we've made in the field of lung health. One area that has garnered increasing interest is early detection and screening for lung cancer, especially among those who may not be considered high risk based on current guidelines.

In reflecting on this, I find it valuable to draw parallels with the evolution of mammography screening guidelines. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, mammography screening programs in the United States primarily focused on high-risk groups, specifically women with a family history of breast cancer or specific risk factors. This approach, while critical for those identified as high risk, represented only the initial step in our battle against breast cancer.

It wasn't until the late 1980s and 1990s that recommendations for regular mammography screening expanded to encompass a wider population, including women without specific high-risk factors. This expansion was underpinned by a wealth of clinical evidence demonstrating the benefits of early detection through mammography.

The integration of the general population into mammography screening was a gradual process, spanning over a decade or more. It was a journey marked by continuous learning, refinement of guidelines, and a steadfast commitment to evidence-based medicine. This shift in approach was a testament to the evolving understanding of breast cancer screening and the consensus reached by the medical community.

I believe this historical journey serves as an excellent model for our current discussion on lung cancer screening. We are at a pivotal juncture, poised to expand our understanding and embrace the potential benefits of screening for a broader population. For example, numerous studies have shown the benefits of continuing screening more than 15 years after quitting smoking.

In this endeavor, we are closely monitoring ongoing research aimed at broadening the at-risk population for lung cancer screening. We understand that science is dynamic, and our commitment to staying at the forefront of knowledge and practice is unwavering.

In the meantime, we are deeply committed to increasing lung cancer screening rates among those who do meet the current high-risk criteria. Our State of Lung Cancer report showed that just 4.5% of eligible individuals received lung cancer screening in 2022. Through our Saved by the Scan campaign, our advocacy work to improve insurance coverage for lung cancer screening and numerous other initiatives, we are leading the charge to improve screening rates and save lives.

Together, we can make strides in advancing lung cancer screening, just as we did with mammography. Our collective efforts will undoubtedly lead to earlier detection, improved outcomes, and ultimately, more lives saved. 

Thank you for your unwavering support in our mission to champion lung health.

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