Lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. The biggest risk factor for the disease is smoking, which causes 85 percent of lung cancer cases.
When found early, lung cancer is treatable. But symptoms don’t usually appear until the cancer is advanced. Screening tests are available that can help detect the presence of lung cancer, but many people don’t know if and when they should be screened.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society recommend that adults between the ages of 55 and 74 who have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history (equal to smoking a pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years) and currently smoke or who have quit in the past 15 years get an annual low-dose chest CT scan. The National Lung Screening Trial found that people who got a low-dose CT scan had a 20 percent lower chance of dying from lung cancer than those who got chest x-rays.Read More