According to recent guidelines, a rising number of adult who need lung cancer are expected to be screened. The American Cancer Society recommend yearly low-dose computed tomography for smokers aged 50-80 who have smoked 2 packs of cigarettes daily for at least 20 years. Starting of screening at 50 years instead of 55 years and also lowering the cigarette exposure makes the eligibility to approximately 14.3 million from earlier 8.1 million. Robert smith PhD lead author of the latest guidelines on the widening of the net for lung cancer screening with a view to save more lives earlier through detection. Recent research suggests that prolonging the smoking quitters’ screening age, abolishing the ‘years since quitting’ criteria and reducing the pack-year cutoff point might save many lives.

What do you understand by ‘pack years’ of cigarette smoking? Based on the concept of ‘pack-years’, the ACS measures cumulative cigarette exposures for the purposes of guideline setting. Smoking one pack-year equals to smoking all the cigarettes in one pack every day, each day, over a span of one year.ederbörd For instance, a person may have smoked one pack daily for two decades or two packs in each day for ten years equivalent to 20 pack-years of smoking. According to Smith the guide has always considered an individual who is a current or ex smoker with the required pack history. Although the danger of a smoking history for 10 years or less is not so great as to warrant screening, a smoking history for 15-20 years represents significantly higher risk requiring lung cancer screening. According to smith , it is important to consider the overall exposure to tobacco smoke rather than just the quit date.

Eliminating ‘years since quitting’ requirement will ensure that more people are screened. Michael Ong, MD, PhD, a professor at UCLA, and an internist affiliated with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center clarifies that removing any reference to years since quitting from recommendations ensures people In this case, having a more straightforward message regarding screening without any warning concerning time since quitting would lead to more participants in the screening, detection of most advanced lung tumors, and reduced death rates due to lung cancer.

Ong however cautiously warns that such expansion might as well come with some downside because every disease may be fatal and it is better to avoid it in the first place. This can lead to a higher number of people being reported as false positive screening with such screenings showing a situation which is non-existent. Unnecessary tests and sometimes invasive treatments may result therefrom.

Should anyone not be screened for lung cancer? The new guidelines advocate for adults who have medical conditions which limit lifespan or those who cannot or are not ready to undertake an anti-tumor treatment. Such individuals stand a high chance of getting unintended harms from screening than benefits because there would be very low likelihood of detect Adults below age 50 and those smoking fewer than 20 years are not considered for screening. Also, these guidelines do not recommend lung cancer screening for patients who may be too ill or have a life expectation of fewer than 5 years.”