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Task force recommends new lung cancer screening guidelines
Date:6/21/2012

Boston A lung screening and surveillance task force, established by the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) and led by medical professionals from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), is strongly recommending new guidelines for lung cancer screening. The guidelines were published this week in the online edition of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (JTCVS).

Recent research has shown low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is beneficial in reducing deaths from lung cancer. So the AATS task force recommends an annual lung cancer screening using LDCT for:

Smokers and former smokers between the ages of 55 and 79 who have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. Smokers and former smokers between the ages of 50 and 79 who have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years and have other factors that raise their risk of developing lung cancer. Long-term lung cancer survivors up to the age of 79 (to detect a second case of primary lung cancer).

David Sugarbaker, MD, the chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at BWH and president-elect of the AATS, conceived the idea of creating the guidelines. He said, "This work will result in a greater chance for patients stricken with early lung cancer to receive curative therapy."

These guidelines differ from the recommendations of other societies because they recommend screening for patients up to the age of 79. Other societies only recommend screening for patients up to the age of 74. These guidelines are also unique because they address lung cancer survivors. In total, under the AATS recommendations, 94 million Americans are now eligible for screening. The AATS task force recommends that screening should not be performed for individuals with conditions that would preclude successful treatment for lung cancer.

"Low-dose CT scanning has been proven to save lives," said Francine Jacobson, MD, MP
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Contact: Tom Langford
tlangford@partners.org
617-534-1605
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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