Today, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its draft recommendation statement on screening for lung cancer. In response to the updated draft recommendations, American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“The American Lung Association enthusiastically welcomes this new draft recommendation for lung cancer screening, which, when finalized, will nearly double those eligible to be screened for lung cancer. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cancer killer among both women and men. Screening is essential to saving lives, particularly for lung cancer, which is typically found in the later stages and has an overall 5-year survival rate of 21.8%. However, lung cancer is much more curable when diagnosed at an early stage, making lung cancer screening key to turning the tide against this deadly disease.
“The new criteria make adults 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years eligible for screening. These expanded criteria have the potential to save many more lives compared to the current guidelines.
“The draft recommendation from USPSTF highlights the lifesaving potential of lung cancer screening, and has not only continued its ‘B’ recommendation – allowing for coverage of the screening with no cost for many under the Affordable Care Act – but has expanded the criteria for screening so that even more Americans at higher risk for lung cancer can be screened.
“The American Lung Association will submit comments to the USPSTF, stating our strong support for this new recommendation, which will nearly double the number of people eligible for screening. Notably, more women and African Americans will be eligible for this lifesaving screening. The Lung Association also urges Medicare and state Medicaid programs to update coverage guidelines to match this expanded recommendation.”
Learn more about lung cancer screening and lung health at Lung.org or SavedByTheScan.org. For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung cancer and lung health, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7629.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.